France's Lagardere expands in N.American airport retail

Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:02pm EDT
 
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PARIS Aug 11 (Reuters) - French media group Lagardere has agreed to buy airport travel retail company Paradies for $530 million in cash to create the second-largest player in the North American market.

Lagardere is buying the business from Freeman Spogli & Co, the Paradies family and other shareholders, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The deal needs regulatory approval and the agreement of several third parties.

Paradies operates in more than 76 airports through long-term concessions, including Atlanta, Chicago and New York's John F. Kennedy, and generated sales of $515 million in the year to June 28, Lagardere said.

The $7.7 billion airport travel retail market in North America is set to grow thanks to the expansion of food services, additional space created as terminals are modernised and continued growth in traffic, Lagardere said.

The French company said Paradies would complement its Lagardere Travel Retail unit, which it said has a stronger presence in Canada. The combined business would have annual sales of close to $800 million.

The purchase will be made using a bridge loan that would then be refinanced according to market conditions, Lagardere said. The deal is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.

JP Morgan advised Lagardere in the deal. Barclays advised Paradies. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by David Holmes)