Pantaloon Retail (India), the flagship of the Kishore Byani-promoted Future Group, has divested its stake in its joint venture with British airport retailer Alpha Group Plc - Alpha Future Airport Retail Private Ltd - the company said in a filing with the National Stock Exchange.
According to the company, it has divested its holding in Alpha Future Retail in favour of Alpha Overseas Holdings Ltd. The retail company has now moved out of the joint venture following divestment of the stake. Alpha Group is one of the world's biggest aviation support companies and a wholly owned subsidiary of Autogrill SpA.
Autogrill described the agreement with Pantaloon Retail, which was widely touted last month, as ''friendly'', and said it was consistent with plans to integrate the business activities of Alpha Group, World Duty Free Europe and Aldeasa.
''The reorganisation of Autogrill Group's presence in India, where it also runs food and beverages operations at Hyderabad and Bangalore airports, implies that the group can pursue synergies at geographical level too, putting it in an ideal position to take advantage of development opportunities in the Indian marketplace.
''Delhi International Airport is the second-ranking Indian airport after Mumbai by passenger traffic (20 million passengers in 2007). A wide-ranging airport expansion programme is now under way, with the new T3 international terminal, containing 4,000 sq m of retail space, scheduled for completion in 2010, by which time passenger traffic is forecast to rise to more than 60 million annually."
The duty free tender for T3 in Delhi, expected soon, is certain to be one of the most hotly fought contests in Indian travel retail history
Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, is India's leading retailer that operates multiple retail formats in both the value and lifestyle segment of the Indian consumer market. The company operates over 11 million square feet of retail space, has over 1000 stores across 63 cities in India and employs over 30,000 people.
The US-based National Retail Federation (NRF) recently awarded the International Retailer of the Year 2007 Pantaloon Retail and the Emerging Market Retailer of the Year 2007 at the World Retail Congress held in Barcelona. Pantaloon Retail is the flagship company of Future Group, a business group catering to the entire Indian consumption space.
Autogrill also underlined its growing presence in Asia - a key platform for future growth. It made its regional debut through HMSHost at Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia and over the past two years has maintained a strong focus on developing Asian markets, and India in particular.
With the acquisition of Alpha Group in 2007, the Autogrill Group began operating at the airports of New Delhi and Cochin in India, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Malè in the Maldives and Kathmandu in Nepal. As previously reported, under the framework of Autogrill's business reorganization, responsibility for Alpha Group's international retail units (Alpha Retail Asia and Alpha Retail US) has been assigned to Aldeasa (99.9 per cent owned by Autogrill), one of the world's leading travel retailers.