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French firm acquires major U.S. airport concessionnaire

French firm acquires major U.S. airport concessionnaire

Lagardère Travel Retail swallows Atlanta-based Paradies to create entity that will operate retail and dining outlets at nearly a hundred North American airports.

Atlanta-based airport concessionnaire Paradies is being acquired by Lagardère Travel Retail, a French travel retail firm that operates in 150 airports across 30 countries.

Paradies operates more than 550 retail and dining locations in over 76 markets across North America. It has partnerships with brands such as Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, CNBC News, Univision, PGA Tour Shops, Brooks Brothers and Pandora and operates proprietary brands like eSavvy, Say Si Bon!, KidZoo and TravelMart.

Once the deal closes, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2015, Paradies will combine its operations with the existing North American operations of Lagardère Travel Retail to operate some 800 retail and dining location in 99 airports across North America, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, New York-JFK, San Francisco, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Following the completion of the transaction, Gregg Paradies will serve as the President and CEO of the newly combined company and will be an investor.

“We at Paradies are very excited to join a company of Lagardère’s reputation and international experience,” Paradies said in a press release announcing the deal. “Paradies and the Lagardère group share many similarities including our very strong family cultures. The combination of resources and experience will help accelerate our growth and competitiveness in this very dynamic industry. This investment is a tremendous compliment to our 4,000 associates, to our business partners, to our management and leadership team, and to Freeman Spogli & Co., who has been an excellent and very supportive partner during the last five years.”

Lagardère Travel Retail Chairman/CEO Dag Rasmussen added: "This acquisition transforms the presence of Lagardère Travel Retail in North America. It significantly strengthens our business and allows us to expand our concession portfolio and to develop relationships with our brand partners and suppliers. We are very pleased to welcome Gregg Paradies and all his employees to the Group. Together, we will aim to create a regional leader and break new ground."

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected].com

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