What could happen to Autogrills after 63 years of service

What could happen to Autogrills after 63 years of service

At least once in your life you will have happened to stop in one of the numerous, over 140 Autogrills scattered along our Italian motorways; they represent an almost mandatory stop for motorists when embarking on a medium or long-distance journey but now, thanks to an agreement with Dufry, a company that operates in the catering and travel service, the situation could drastically change.


Autogrill (S.p.A) is an Italian multinational that has been operating in the catering services sector for over 60 years. Present in 30 countries, with over 31,000 employees, it manages more than 300 brands in approximately 3,800 points of sale in 950 sites. You can find an Autogrill inside airports, railway stations, shopping centers and along motorways.

To provide a couple of numbers and better contextualize the business, in 2020 the Autogrill Group recorded revenues of 2 billion euros with a net of just under 500 million euros.

The birth of Autogrill derives from a synergistic work with three food companies that have played a key role: Motta, Pavesi and Alemagna. The first motorway restaurant was born in 1947, but it was necessary to wait between the 1960s and 1970s for the first historic "bridge building" to appear and for the company to be founded; a company that, in order to quickly enter abroad, took over in the 90s the French Les 4 Pentes and the Spanish Cepsa, two companies that operated in the catering sector of the corresponding countries. Despite the presence of private companies, Autogrill remained controlled by the financial SME of IRI (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction).| ); }

Source; wikipedia In May 2013, Autogrill entered the Russian market by signing an agreement with the companies Novikov Group and Ginza Project, also positioning itself within the St. Petersburg Airport. Also in the same year, the Travel Retail and Duty Free business was split from Autogrill leading to separate listing of the World Duty Free; company that in 2015 will be sold for 1.3 billion by the Benetton family to the Swiss Dufry Group. | ); } For the uninitiated, Dufry is a Swiss company based in Basel that operates in the sector with approximately 1,700 duty-free and duty-paid shops; founded in 1865, it provides employment for over 36,000 people in more than 60 countries.

What happens now

As mentioned, the majority of the Autogrill brand is managed by the Holding company Edizione, owned by the Benetton family, which, however, has not renewed the historic agreements. In the coming weeks, the stake (50.3%) will be sold to the Swiss Dufry Group, a step that will allow the Benetton family to hold up to 25% of the shares in the new company to be formed.

A retail giant for travelers will be born, with 5,500 points of sale, 60,000 employees and a turnover of 13.6 billion.

Alessandro Benetton will hold a new position as within the Board of Directors, Gianmaria Tondato Da Ruos will be the Executive President of all North American activities, while Enrico Laghi and Paolo Roverato will be the new Vice Presidents. Finally, Xavier Rossinyol will be the CEO of the new Group and Juan Carlos Torres Executive Chairman.

If that were the case, it would be a real setback as these refreshment points represent a real piece of Italian history; although the prices are much higher than those we can find in the various networks of shopping centers, Autogrill always offers the right product at the right time.

Competitors in Italy

In our beautiful country, in the motorway catering market, there is not only Autogrill with its 140 offices, but also Sarni Group (23 offices), Chef Express (Cremonini Group, 20), Finifast (10), MyChef (Elior Group, 9) and Ristop (Save, 11).

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