The Volkswagen Group has taken another step towards purchase of Europcar, famous French car rental company, after France’s financial regulators approved its offer to buy the company by 2.9 billion euros.
Volkswagen partnered in July with British asset manager Attestor Limited and Dutch car conglomerate Pon Holdings to bid for 2.9 billion euros (2.4 billion pounds), or 50 cents per share.
For Europcar, it’s like starting over. The rent-a-car was already owned by the Volkswagen group and was until 2006. That year, the German giant (12 brands, 118 factories in the world with 665,000 employees and 223,000 million euros of turnover) sold Europcar, then in full growth, to the French investment company Eurazeo for 3,100 million euros. Fifteen years later, he bought the company back at a somewhat lower price.
For Europcar, the arrival of the German group is a relief, although perhaps not for all the 340 agencies of the brand spread over 140 countries (and with a total fleet of more than 350,000 cars). And it is that apparently, Volkswagen is committed to maintaining employment only in France, also leaving the headquarters of the brand in Paris.
Volkswagen: a step towards becoming a provider of mobility solutions.
That Volkswagen buys Europcar again is not a curiosity, it is one more step towards its strategy (similar to that of almost all large groups) of become a provider of mobility solutions.
As explained to Reuters This summer Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess aims to turn Volkswagen into a provider of “mobility services” with technology. It is a market that, according to him, will multiply by 10 until reaching 100 billion dollars worldwide in 2030.
As younger drivers give up owning a car, they are more likely to opt for alternatives like ride-sharing and monthly subscription services. In the future, passengers will request driverless “robotaxis” via an app to move around city centers.
Europcar provides an advanced fleet management, as well as “a wide network of branches at major airports, train stations and in inner cities, and will help Volkswagen achieve its ambitious mobility services goals, “explained Herbet Diess.