POLAND. Flemingo International Ltd BVI today signed an Investment Agreement with state-owned Polish Airports State Enterprise (PPL) to sell the travel retailer’s 80.68% shareholding in Baltona Duty Free.
Baltona Duty Free is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. As reported, Flemingo International, Baltona’s majority shareholder, signed a letter of intent regarding the deal in June.
PPL is part of the PPL Business Group and has stakes in 14 airport operating companies in Poland.
Under the agreement, Flemingo will subscribe to a public tender – to be launched by PPL in the next few days – with the aim to acquire 100% of shares in Baltona.
At the same time, PPL will buy two bond series issued by Baltona. These will provide funds for day-to-day operations, growth initiatives as well as refinancing of Baltona’s current banking facilities. Bond programmes were organised through PKO Bank Polski.
Both the Investment Agreement and the public tender are subject to the approval of the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
“We are very pleased having signed this Investment Agreement with PPL, one of the top aviation infrastructure companies in Poland and the owner of the largest airport at which Baltona operates,” said Flemingo Member of the Board and CEO Region Europe Carlo Bernasconi.
“I am convinced that PPL, under the leadership of its CEO Mariusz Szpikowski, will be able to further develop and drive Baltona’s growth story, that was demonstrated through recent impressive contract wins in Tallinn, Wroclaw and, most important, successful negotiations of Warsaw contracts.
“Together with PPL’s in-depth commercial airport knowledge and backed-up with a strong capital base, Baltona will undoubtfully become the undisputed travel retail leader within Poland and I am happy to see our experienced Baltona management team join hands with the PPL Management and Supervisory Board.”
“The transaction with Flemingo is beneficial for us for economic reasons and security-wise for the airport,” said Polish Airports State Enterprise CEO Mariusz Szpikowski. “PPL capital group would regain more control over security in the restricted areas, which would convert into increased passenger security at ports. A huge added value would also be creation of a strong entity that would be able to compete on the duty free market.”
Flemingo is a global travel retailer with operations in 29 countries across four continents with key businesses at airports in emerging markets. It enjoys a dominant presence in India and a strong profile in the cruise retail sector through its 100% subsidiary Harding Retail. Flemingo also operates inflight duty free through its Turkish subsidiary Iris Ekspress and is active in the distribution business, managed by Flemingo’s Dubai branch.
Baltona is the leading operator of duty free shops at Polish regional airports. It also operates numerous general stores and F&B outlets in Poland and abroad. The company has been present in the Polish market for over 70 years. The company’s retail and catering businesses are situated in Poland, Estonia, Romania, France, Italy and Ukraine. The Baltona Group is also involved in ship chandling business in Polish seaports and serving Polish ships abroad.
About Polish Airports State Enterprise
Polish Airports State Enterprise (PPL) is one of the top aviation infrastructure companies in Poland. PPL operates key elements of the state’s infrastructure, driving the entire air transport services market.
Polish Airports State Enterprise is the leading company of the PPL Business Group. The enterprise holds shares in or stocks of 14 airport operating companies. PPL owns specialist companies providing passenger services and freight and aircraft handling at Polish airports (Welcome Airport Services and Lotniczy Dworzec Towarowy Wrocław) and another conducting non-aviation activity, ACS, which offers airport passenger and baggage screening and security.