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 it will have happened to you 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.| ); }
Towards the end of the 1990s, Autogrill becomes private and the majority shareholder is Schema34, a subsidiary of the Benetton family's Financial Edition Group. With its listing on the stock exchange, Benetton continues its growth in Europe, arriving in Germany, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. Between the years 2000 and 2010, Autogrill acquired numerous companies scattered all over the world, even of considerable importance such as HMS (Host Marriott Services, America's leader in catering at airports, on highways, in large stations and shopping centers), becoming to all intents and purposes a giant on a world scale. | ); }

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

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.

The new company will be operational from next year, from 2023, and it is not certain that Autogrills, as we know them, will remain so. The new company, with non-Italian roots, could lead to a change of appearance and content and therefore also eliminate all those typical products that we find today in our Autogrills. We could therefore arrive at a sort of "leveling" between all the points of sale.

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.

Dufry Autogrill, the wedding in 2023

The agreement between Autogrill and Dufry will bring cost synergies of 85 million and a growth in turnover between 7-10 percent in the period between 2023 and 2024, or the initial transition period. In the past few hours, the Swiss group Dufry presented its “Destination 2027” plan, estimating a growth in turnover of 5-7% in the period 2025-2027. As for the shareholding of the new company, the estimate remains confirmed for Edizione, which will have between 20% and 25% of the new company, Advent at 10.1%, the sovereign fund of Qatar at 8%, the Chinese Alibaba at 7.7% and Richemont below 5%.

Competitors in Italy

In our beautiful country, in the motorway catering market, Autogrill is not only present 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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