VW consortium launches Europcar takeover bid

29 July 2021

Volkswagen (VW) Group, in a consortium with London-based asset manager Attestor Limited and Dutch mobility provider Pon Holdings B.V. (Pon), has agreed to launch a takeover bid for Europcar Mobility Group (Europcar). The minimum acceptance threshold for the offer is 67%, and the consortium has already received commitments to accept the takeover offer from existing Europcar shareholders representing 68% of the outstanding shares, including 12.8% held by Attestor.

Europcar operates over 3,500 locations across more than 140 countries and had a fleet surpassing 350,000 vehicles in 2019, serving over five million customers annually. For VW, this represents a significant opportunity to expand its mobility services. Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and transport-as-a-service, as well as fully-autonomous vehicles, form an integral part of the New Auto strategy presented by the carmaker earlier this month.

‘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. 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,’ commented VW CEO Herbert Diess.

MaaS as a profit pool

VW will have a majority share in the resulting joint holding company, Green Mobility Holding, but will neither control the consortium nor Europcar and will not consolidate them into the group. With this structure, VW seeks to leverage the transformational capabilities of Attestor as well as the international mobility services and customer experience of Pon. It looks toadvance Europcar and deliver new and innovative mobility solutions to meet growing customer demand for services.

This will also serve as a profit pool, with the total market for MaaS in the five-largest European markets alone expected to amount to $70 billion (€59 billion) by 2030. In the coming years, a single platform is intended to integrate all the mobility offerings of VW and its brands. ‘Through partnering with relevant industry experts, we will increase speed on our way to transform Volkswagen Group into a globally leading mobility tech company,’ Diess added.

Completion in Q4 2021 or Q1 2022

The proposed transaction was approved by the VW supervisory board in an extraordinary meeting on 28 July. The consortium has committed to make a recommended tender offer of €0.50 for all outstanding shares of Europcar, with an increase of the offer price to €0.51 if more than 90% of the share capital and voting rights are transferred.

The offer price is a 27% premium over the €0.39 share price of Europcar on the Euronext Paris stock exchange at the end of trading on 22 June. This was the last day before the consortium’s approach became public and implies a valuation of €2.9bn.

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