Gilberto Benetton a knight of the French Legion of Honour

Honour conferred by French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 16:30

Paris , 16 November 2011 - Gilberto Benetton, chairman of Autogrill SpA and Edizione Srl, will receive today a knighthood of the French Legion of Honour. This, one of the most important honours in France, will be conferred by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in an official ceremony at the Élysée Palace.

Born in Treviso in 1941, Gilberto Benetton started up the Benetton Group business with his sister Giuliana and brothers Luciano and Carlo in 1965. The Group is now a world leading force in fashion with operations in 120 countries. Gilberto Benetton is chairman of Edizione Srl (the family holding company ) and Autogrill and a company director in various groups including Benetton and Atlantia.

The Benetton family has a wide range of business activities in France.

  • Benetton’s first point of sale outside Italy was opened in Paris, on boulevard St. Germain, in 1969. Today, Benetton Group has 130 points of sale in France, with around 500 employees, and posted revenues of over €50m in France in 2010.
  • France is where Autogrill Group launched its international development around 18 years ago. The Group now operates in 35 countries and produces 80% of its sales (€5.7 billion in 2010) outside Italy. Autogrill France employs 4,000 people and offers food&beverage services in over 400 points of sale; in 2010 it posted revenues of over €270m.
  • In October 2011, acting through Autostrade per l’Italia, Atlantia Group entered an agreement with the French Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing Ministry (MEDDTL) to build and operate a satellite mandatory toll collection system for heavy vehicles on motorways (Eco Taxe Poids Lourds), to enter service in summer 2013.