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Europcar Asia Pacific, one of the country's leading car rental companies, has been purchased by its parent company Europcar International for an undisclosed amount.
Europcar International, the European leader in passenger car and light utility vehicle rental, bought the Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries of Europcar, which operates its master franchise within the Asia-Pacific region.
The acquisition gives Europcar International for the first time direct operations in markets outside of Europe.
Owned by a management led consortium backed by lead equity investor Navis Capital Partners, Europcar Australia operates a fleet of more than 8,500 vehicles through a network of more than 110 locations throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The newly-acquired company managed more than 2 million rental days in 2007 generating AUD $123 million in revenue, an increase of 18 per cent from 2006.
Europcar is the third largest operator in Australia with market reports by airport authorities indicating the burgeoning company recorded a total market share of 15.4 per cent at April 2008.
Europcar Australia CEO Josh Green said the sale was an exciting step for Europcar Asia Pacific as it showed just how far the company had come since it started operating in the region almost four years ago.
Mr Green said Europcar International's acquisition of the Asia Pacific franchise underwrote the increasing market value, profitability and growing brand awareness of Europcar in the region.
"Europcar Asia Pacific is a thriving business which Navis Capital Partners has enjoyed strong profits from and built into a sought-after investment opportunity," he said.
"The fact that Europcar is the third largest vehicle-hire operator in Australia, has strong brand recognition and continues to aggressively grow its business throughout the region makes this transaction an important acquisition for Europcar International," Mr Green said.
"The transaction provides the perfect opportunity for Europcar International to strengthen its brand and also expand its global business with a strong existing Asia Pacific business base."
Mr Green said the Asia Pacific region was one of the fastest growing markets for the car rental business.
"Europcar Asia Pacific will prove a valuable asset for Europcar International, which has plans to grow the business to number one in this market, just as they are in almost every other market they operate in," he said.
The recent purchase of Europcar Asia Pacific will be the fifth acquisition for its international parent company within the past two years. The franchise rights for Europcar Asia Pacific initially was sold to Navis in 2004 by the Paris-based Europcar International. Navis's portfolio of companies in Australia includes ice-cream chain Wendy's, Dome Coffees Australia and Worldwide Printing Services.
Europcar Group CEO Salvatore Catania said the acquisition would provide the company with direct access and in-house expertise in the Asia Pacific region and was a significant step in executing the company's strategy of expanding its global footprint through organic and external growth.
Europcar, a leading car rental company, is one of Australia's most popular providers of car rental services, operating a large fleet of quality vehicles across a nationwide network of over 110 locations.
Europcar operates all over Australia, including popular tourism destinations such as Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Hobart, Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide and Perth.
There are car hire branches at all major airports, capital cities as well as many regional airports, towns and more remote locations.
Europcar offers its clients a wide choice of rental vehicles including hire cars, minivans, people movers, 4WDs, SUVs, trucks, utilities and vans, European car hire with prestige, luxury and sports cars.
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