King Power to Diversify Into Travel, Sports in China

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After acquiring a 39% stake in Asia Aviation (AAV), King Power is now setting its sights on sport and travel businesses in China, which are flourishing despite an overall slowdown in the economy.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, CEO and founder of King Power, says the company will synergize many marketing and business platforms with Thai AirAsia to bolster growth. Mr. Vichai purchased the majority stake in AAV, operator of Thai AirAsia, in a 7.9 billion baht deal.

Thai AirAsia will continue expanding its network while King Power aims to sell more duty-free onboard goods.

King Power says its goal is to become a “one-stop service” for shopping, entertaining and traveling. The firm also owns Leicester, the British premiership-winning football club. King Power is planning to launch an online shopping platform as well as a duty-free promotion. The firm has said that even those who aren’t traveling will still be able to purchase duty-free items.

Vichai said on Tuesday that he had interest in the airline business for many years. At one time, he owned a 5% stake in Nok Air, but made the decision to sell because the carrier was too small.

King Power has 27 years of experience in the retail industry, and is now looking to diversify into new markets, including sport and travel.

The group’s recent deal with AVV will allow both companies to grow, especially in China where Mr. Vichai sees potential for growth. The billionaire also purchased the Leicester City Football Club six years ago, which recently won the U.K.’s Premier League.

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