Volkswagen Consortium Launches Takeover Offer For Europcar

A consortium of Volkswagen Group, London-based asset manager Attestor, and Dutch mobility provider Pon Holdings has launched a recommended takeover offer for Europcar Mobility Group (Europcar).

According to Volkswagen, the board of Europcar has welcomed a tender offer of €0.50 for all outstanding shares, implying an enterprise value of €2.9 billion.

Volkswagen said it will have a majority shareholding in the consortium’s joint holding company set up for the transaction, Green Mobility Holding (GMH). However, to ensure a balanced governance structure and to leverage the strengths of each consortium partner, Volkswagen will not control GMH. Accordingly, neither GMH nor Europcar will be consolidated into Volkswagen and all transactions with GMH and Europcar will be on an “arms’ length” basis.

With this structure, Volkswagen said it will be able to leverage the “strong transformation capabilities” of Attestor as well as the international mobility services and customer experience of Pon for a successful transformation of Europcar.

“Through partnering with relevant industry experts, we will increase speed on our way to transform Volkswagen Group into a globally leading mobility tech company,” Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said.

The company said the transaction with Europcar provides a compelling opportunity to create a leading mobility platform – the consortium aims to deliver new and innovative mobility solutions to meet growing customer demand for services complementing car ownership, while managing the business with a balanced governance structure and leveraging the strengths of each consortium partner.

“The mobility market is changing rapidly as customers increasingly demand new and innovative on-demand mobility solutions, such as subscription and sharing models to complement car ownership,” Diess said. “That is why we made building a leading mobility platform a key priority of our recently announced New Auto strategy through 2030.

“Europcar provides advanced fleet management capabilities as well as a broad network of stations at major airports, railway stations and city locations and will help accelerate Volkswagen’s delivery of its ambitious mobility services targets. Together with our consortium partners Attestor and Pon, we will support the development and transformation of Europcar’s business and selectively add further services from Volkswagen Group brands.”

Jan-Christoph Peters, founder and owner of Attestor, said that with its strong market position, Europcar has the potential to become a leading platform for individual mobility concepts in Europe.

“As one of its largest shareholders, we already supported the recently completed financial restructuring of the Europcar Mobility Group,” he said. “Alongside Volkswagen and Pon, we are now taking the next step – helping the business to develop into a sustainably successful and innovative company positioned to lead in the fast-growing mobility sector.”

Janus Smalbraak, CEO of Pon, said that since the company’s transformation to an international mobility group, it has “experienced the power of multi-offering of mobility to customers”, whether that entails cars, bikes, scooters or other mobility services.

“We strongly believe in the potential of operating one integrated platform, in which flexible mobility services will be a key element,” he said. “We are pleased to be part of the consortium, being able to contribute to the creation of this new Volkswagen mobility platform, with Europcar as a strong basis. This new step further strengthens the long and close relationship between Volkswagen and Pon.”

The transaction is subject to approval by the French Stock Market Authority (AMF) and antitrust authorities. The offer is expected to be filed with the AMF by the end of the third quarter of 2021 and be completed in the fourth quarter or first quarter of 2022.

According to Volkswagen, Europcar is the leading mobility service and rental car company in Europe, operating over 3500 stations across more than 140 countries, maintaining a fleet of over 350,000 vehicles in 2019, and serving more than five million customers per year.