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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swiss Kuoni Buys Tour Operator

Swiss travel firm Kuoni said Monday that it had acquired 80 percent of Russian tour operator Megapolyus, a move that gives it a foothold in the country's booming leisure travel market.

Megapolyus, the country's 12th-biggest tour operator, is known for offering Alpine skiing and beach vacations in Greece and Croatia to well-heeled Russians.

The firm had sales worth 51 million Swiss francs ($42 million) last year, offering vacations and travel assistance to wealthy clients, Kuoni said in a statement.

Under a takeover agreement signed Friday, 20 percent of Megapolyus remains in the hands of the company's founders and former majority shareholder Eduard Kuznetsov will remain as CEO.

"Apart from immediate synergy benefits, the acquisition will boost and strengthen the brand position of Megapolyus in Russia," Megapolyus general director Ksenia Rekshchinskaya said Monday in e-mailed comments. "We also hope to acquire a new trading style not in use before in Russia."

Rekshchinskaya said the parties agreed not to divulge the purchase price involved.

Kuoni, Switzerland's biggest travel firm, said Monday that the transaction still required the approval of Russian anti-monopoly authorities, who are expected to consider the takeover within the next few weeks.