MADRID Aug 22 Airport retailer World Duty Free
Group (WDFG) on Thursday named former Goldman Sachs and Merrill
Lynch banker David Jimenez-Blanco as chief financial officer
ahead of its split from Italy's Autogrill planned for
WDFG has grown through acquisitions and the absorption of
Spanish travel retailer Aldeasa and has over 550 stores in
airports and other locations in 20 countries.
Autogrill, whose catering business has been badly hit by
reduced motorway traffic during the recession, hopes the
flotation in Milan will pave the way for possible tie-ups by
Jimenez-Blanco has previously been responsible for U.S.
investment bank Merrill Lynch's business in Spain and Portugal
and was also head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in the
two countries, WDFG said.
A specialist in mergers and acquisitions, the Spaniard has
been a partner at emerging market--focused investment management
firm BK Partners since 2010.
(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by David Cowell)