DFS Group picks 22% stake in e-commerce unit of Chinese duty-free operator

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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.