| Italy

Autogrill seeks to raise €600m as Covid-19 decimates travel concession sales

Restaurant and branded café travel concession operator will seek to raise up to half of its market value to offset catastrophic falls travel concession sales and rising debt due to Covid-19

An Autogrill-operated Acafé at Stazione di Roma Termini, Italy | Photo: Autogrill 



Travel concession giant Autogrill is seeking rebalance its finances by raising up to €600m ($729m), nearly half of the troubled firm’s market value.
 
In a press statement, the company said the rights issue would allow the group to tackle rising debt, which has accumulated from having nearly half of its outlets open in deserted airports and motorway service stations across the world.
 
“We are starting a journey aimed at strengthening our capital structure, to be financially ready and flexible to take advantage of any potential future opportunities,” said Autogrill Group CEO, Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos.
 
The Italian firm has been hard-hit by global Covid-19 travel restrictions that have brought the travel sector to a standstill. The company’s sales fell 56% in the first eight months of 2020, with debt rising to €1bn ($1.2bn) in the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, Autogrill’s profits fell to €52m from €454m in the same period compared to the year previous. In November 2020, the firm took a €300m loan guaranteed by the Italian state.
 
Autogrill operates around 4,000 points of sale across 30 countries globally, including prominent branded coffee chains Starbucks, Leon, Lavazza Espression, Motta, Tentazioni Cafè, Caffè Kimbo, Café Chocolat and Acafé. In 2019 it posted revenues of €5bn ($6.1bn), around 60% of which came from its airports business.
 
The capital raise comes shortly after Autogrill Europe S.p.A confirmed the sale of its Spanish Autogrill Iberia Slu business, comprising 80 outlets, to the Areas Group for €12m ($14.6m), on 14 January 2021.
 
The company intends to complete the capital raise by June 2021.

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