Volkswagen considering acquisition of majority stake in Europcar

The carmaker says the move would allow VW ‘expand its offerings of mobility services’

Europcar confirmed this week it had turned down an offer to acquire the company for €0.44 a share, without identifying who made the approach.  Photograph: iStock

Europcar confirmed this week it had turned down an offer to acquire the company for €0.44 a share, without identifying who made the approach. Photograph: iStock

 

Volkswagen confirmed it is considering an acquisition of a majority stake in Europcar Mobility Group to expand its offerings of mobility services.

Discussions are at an early stage and no decisions have been taken, VW said in an emailed statement on Thursday, a day after Bloomberg News first reported the carmaker had made a €2.2 billion bid together with Attestor Ltd and Pon Holdings BV. Europcar rejected the initial non-binding offer and there is no certainty a deal will be reached.

“A potential transaction could generally be attractive for VW,” the carmaker said in the statement. “It represents one of several options to give VW access to a platform that would support VW’s long-term mobility vision and strengthen VW’s spectrum of products and services.”

Europcar on Wednesday confirmed it had turned down an offer to acquire the company for €0.44 a share, without identifying who made the approach.

The rejected offer represented about a 12 per cent premium to Europcar’s Tuesday closing price. The stock has risen as much as 18 per cent during the last two trading days.

Europcar shares hit an all-time low of €0.25 on February 26th, when the company announced it closed its financial restructuring. The average 12-month target price among six equity analysts is €0.39, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Earlier this year Europcar completed a debt restructuring and capital increase that wiped out more than €1 billion of debt and handed control of the company to creditors led by Anchorage Capital Group and Marathon Asset Management.

American rival Hertz Corp, which is emerging from Chapter 11 protection, has benefited from a rapid return of leisure travel in the US as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. The business rebound sparked a fierce bidding war to buy the company out of bankruptcy, and Hertz and its rivals have struggled to maintain enough supply of cars for customers. – Bloomberg