Arial Acquires Aer Rianta International's Remaining 33.3% Stake in Aerofirst - Information portal

Arial Acquires Aer Rianta International's Remaining 33.3% Stake in Aerofirst

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09.07.2013 Количество просмотров 1278 views
DUTY FREECJSC Arial, parent company of Runway Duty Free, has acquired Aer Rianta International’s (ARI) 33.3% stake in Russian travel retailer Aerofirst, thereby taking 100% control of the company.

As reported, in January this year Arial acquired national airline Aeroflot’s 66.6% stake in Aerofirst, one of the country’s leading duty free companies. Aerofirst operates duty free and duty paid shops at Terminals D and F of Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport and also manages inflight retail onboard Aeroflot and Transaero flights.

Arial already operates duty free and duty paid stores at Domodedovo International Airport as well as at Novosibirsk Airport.

Both ARI and ARIAL confirmed the widely-expected transaction this morning. No price was disclosed by either party. As reported, ARIAL paid national carrier Aeroflot €30 million for its initial 66% stake in Aerofirst. It is likely that the latest transaction would be slightly discounted from that level on a proportionate share basis.

Aerofirst Director General and Arial Board Chairman, Andrey Y. Kuleshov confirmed the purchase. He said that the acquisition has been part of a strategic consolidation and expansion plan over the past two years.

In May 2011, ARI’s stake in Arial was acquired, followed by an expansion drive into Novosibirsk Airport in 2012. The company said that its 100% holding in Aerofirst meant it had now consolidated its position at two of the country’s three main airports.

For ARI the deal represents a further stage in its exit from a once core market to focus on other countries and regions. “We have indicated for some time our intention to realise the value of our assets in Russia and to exit from that market on a managed basis,” said ARI Chief Executive Officer Jack MacGowan. “Our strategic focus is now firmly on regions where we have scale, such as the Middle East, and on markets such as India where we are growing significantly.

“Aerofirst and other operations in Russia have been very profitable for us over the years and we would like to express our appreciation of all those colleagues who helped launch and develop our business there over that period.

“But business environments can change and the Russian market has become less attractive for us in recent years, relative to other regions. We are pleased to be in a position to sell our Aerofirst shareholding to an existing partner and to utilise the funds generated by this transaction to support our growth strategy in other regions.”

Arial’s expansion plans include other transactions in both the Russian and CIS duty free markets, said Kuleshov. “Duty free sales in Russia grow proportionally to increasing passenger numbers,” he commented.

He thanked ARI for its involvement in both businesses down the years and stated that the company had been an excellent business partner, both professionally and personally.

Kuleshov stated that even with ARI’s exit from Aerofirst, he hoped that other business opportunities with the Irish retailer could be developed in the future and that he looked forward to working with them again.
Source:  The Moodie Report

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