Volkswagen considering buying majority stake in Europcar
Germany’s Volkswagen confirmed on Thursday it is considering acquiring a majority stake in car rental company Europcar as it seeks to tap into the trend for consumers to rent rather than own a vehicle.
Volkswagen said it was considering a potential transaction, together with investors Attestor and Pon Holdings, although considerations were at a very early stage and no decisions had been taken.
Company sources told Reuters a year ago that VW wanted to buy back Europcar, which it sold to French financial investor Eurazeo (EURA.PA) in 2006 for 3.3 billion euros ($3.94 billion), including debt.
Europcar said on Wednesday it had rejected a takeover bid, without specifying the bidder, saying the 0.44 euro per share price offered was too low.
The car rental business has taken a heavy hit from the coronavirus pandemic given the collapse of the travel market.
Europcar’s shares were up 5% on Thursday at 0.4550 euros.
Volkswagen said buying Europcar was one of several options it was considering to give the company access to a rental platform that would support its “long-term mobility vision” and strengthen its range of products and services.
Company sources have suggested that Volkswagen could use Europcar’s network of rental stations to help it become a broader provider of different mobility options.
Bloomberg news agency had already reported that Europcar had rejected a $2.6 billion takeover bid from Volkswagen.