The World Duty Free Group (WDFG) has confirmed its intention to acquire sister company HMSHost’s retail operations in North America.
If rubber-stamped, the deal will add 240 outlets in 32 airports across the US to its existing global airport portfolio of 325 outlets in 21 countries.
The move is designed to provide North American airport operators with a clearer focus on distinctive retail and food & beverage services, which to date have both been provided by HMSHost.
According to WDFG, the acquisition will increase its network by more than 70% and represents another “major step forward in its international expansion” after integrating the retail businesses of the Aldeasa and WDF.
Padraig Drennan has been appointed president of World Duty Free Group North America to oversee “a seamless transition” of former HMSHost stores into the new retail organisation.
He will report into Jose Maria Palencia, CEO of World Duty Free Group.
Like WDFG, HMSHost is part of the Autogrill Group and operates in more than 100 airports around the globe, including the 20 busiest airports in North America.
It enjoys annual sales in excess of $2.7 billion and employs more than 34,000 sales associates worldwide.