DFS Group, a Hong Kong-based travel retailer majority-owned by global luxury conglomerate LVMH, has become the second-largest shareholder in the e-commerce unit of Chinese state-owned duty-free products provider Shenzhen State-Owned Duty-Free Commodity Group.
DFS Group acquired a 22 per cent stake in the unit while the state-owned player holds 40 per cent stake. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The deal represents “the first strategic equity cooperation” forged by Shenzhen State-Owned Duty-Free Commodity Group with an international travel retailer, said the company.
It is an important step for the state-owned company “to go overseas” as the company’s major business of selling duty-free products faces challenges due to the impact of the pandemic.
The share acquisition is expected to further improve the e-commerce unit’s non-tobacco and alcohol supply chain system, to increase product categories and reduce procurement costs, as well as to strengthen operation capacities, core competitiveness, and brand recognition, according to the statement.
Established in 1960 in Hong Kong, DFS Group is a global luxury travel retailer that offers customers a curated selection of products from over 700 brands through 885 boutiques on four continents. Its network consists of duty-free stores located in 11 major global airports and 21 downtown T Galleria locations, as well as affiliate and resort locations.
The company is privately held and majority-owned by luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller.
Shenzhen State-Owned Duty Free Commodity Group was founded in January 1980 as the first duty-free store in China. With about 3.65 billion yuan ($525 million) in total group assets, the company primarily operates nearly 40 duty-free stores at several border crossings between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.