Autogrill approves demerger of travel and duty free business

MILAN Fri May 3, 2013 12:06pm EDT

MILAN May 3 (Reuters) - The board of Italy's Autogrill has approved a partial demerger of its travel, retail and duty free business, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Under the project, Autogrill - controlled by Italy's Benetton family - said it would transfer its Spanish unit World Duty Free Group SAU to its wholly owned subsidiary World Duty Free SpA.

"The purpose of the demerger is pre-eminently industrial," Autogrill, which has been considering splitting its travel retail business from its food and beverage division for months, said in a statement.

"The separation of the two businesses may make it easier for the financial markets to understand and assess their respective strategies separately, as well as facilitating any industrial alliances in the two markets," it said. (Reporting By Danilo Masoni, editing by Silvia Aloisi)