Dufry to enlist Alibaba as shareholder, signs China JV

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss Dufry is seen at its headquarters in Basel March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – China’s Alibaba plans to acquire a stake of up to 9.99% in Swiss duty free group Dufry, Dufry said on Monday, as it announced a new Chinese joint venture with the tech giant.

“Alibaba Group and Dufry AG (Dufry) have agreed to enter into a collaboration to jointly explore and invest in opportunities in China to develop the travel retail business and to enhance Dufry’s digital transformation,” Dufry said in a statement.

The Swiss firm has reeled under the hit of COVID-19 and plans to ask shareholders on Oct. 6 to fund a buyout of its Hudson Ltd unit via a new rights issue.

It said Alibaba’s commitment meant it now hoped to bring in proceeds of 700 million Swiss francs ($763 million) through the rights issue,

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