Autogrill, Italy to acquire World Duty Free Limited, United Kingdom

On 7 April 2008, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 by which Autogrill SpA (‘Autogrill’, Italy) acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Council Regulation control of the whole of World Duty Free Limited (‘WDF’, United Kingdom) by way of purchase of shares.

Preliminary examination of European Commission services finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 139/2004. However. Interested third parties can submit their possible observations on the proposed operation not later that 26 April 2008 (ten days after publication). to the Commission:

European Commission - DG Competition
Merger Registry - J-70
B-1049 Brussels (Belgium)

The business activities of the undertakings concerned are:

  • Autogrill (BIT:AGL): It is the world’s biggest provider of food & beverage and retail services for travellers. With sales of around € 4 billion in 2006, it’s present in 42 countries, with over 5,200 points of sale in over 1100 locations, where 70,000 employees serve over 890 million customers every year. The Group operates mainly in airports, along motorways and railway stations.
  • WDF (DSF): Its aim is to offer the ultimate airport shopping experience. We are the UK’s leading travel retailer and feature over 17,000 products across our stores at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Southampton.

What do the Directorate-General for Competition do?

The mission of the Directorate General for Competition is to enforce the competition rules of the Community Treaties, in order to ensure that competition in the EU market is not distorted and that markets operate as efficiently as possible, thereby contributing to the welfare of consumers and to the competitiveness of the European economy.
The work of DG COMP is essential to the achievement of the EU’s strategic objectives as expressed in the “Community Lisbon Program” , because it makes a significant contribution to the efficient functioning of the internal market and promotes the conditions necessary to stimulate knowledge and innovation, to make Europe a more attractive place to invest and work, and to create more and better jobs.