The FF Group had been very actively involved in the travel retail sector since 2002 when it first developed activity in the sector. Via HELLENIC DUTY FREE SHOPS S.A. (HDFS), the exclusive duty free operator in Greece, the FF Group had the exclusive right for selling duty free products at all exits of Greece. HDFS had always been characterized for rapid growth, development and the high quality services, whereas it offered a great variety of products to all travellers in competitive prices, in an impressive of 97 stores at 47 sales points throughout Greece, 64 stores of which are located in 21 airports, 17 stores 3 at 13 border stations and 16 stores at 13 ports all over Greece.
In 2012 the FF Group announced that it signed an agreement to sell 51% of the travel retail business to the Swiss Dufry AG, a transaction which was completed during 2013 in two tranches with an additional sale of the remaining 49% stake of Hellenic Duty Free Shops and FF Group’s entrance as a strategic investor to Dufry AG.
It is worth mentioning that this was completed much earlier than originally scheduled, evidencing HDFS’ strong performance and prospects as well as Dufry’s total commit¬ment and strategic interest for this activity.
Apart from the financial aspects of the transaction and the direct involvement in Du¬fry’s global Duty Free Business, this agreement reinforced the strategic partnership between the FF Group and Dufry, as it enables the FF Group to further exploit new markets, where Dufry has already presence while simultaneously Dufry benefits from the pres¬ence and the know-how that the FF Group has in markets where Dufry’s presence is limited.
Through this strategic partnership the FF Group joined the Group of Dufry’s AG main shareholders led by Travel Retail Investments SCA. In addition, since 2014 Mr George Koutsolioutsos is a member of the Board of Directors of Dufry.
Dufry’s, history goes back to 1865. Today Dufry AG is a leading global travel retailer operating almost 1,700 duty-free and duty-paid shops in airports, cruise lines, sea¬ports, railway stations and downtown tourist areas. The Group operates in 63 countries in Europe, Africa, Eurasia, Central America & Caribbean, North America and South America. Dufry provides its customers with prestigious brands from more than 1500 suppliers and has been pursuing a strategy of profitable growth with focus on tourist destinations in emerging markets. Dufry Ltd is publicly listed in Switzerland and in Bra¬zil with a Market Capitalization of CHF 4,489 million. Turnover and EBITDA in 2012 were reported at CHF 3,062 million and CHF 474 million respectively. Dufry employs around 21.800 people. The Company is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.