Avis Europe comes home

Avis Europe comes home

Late in 2011 Avis Europe was reunited with Avis Budget Group to create a company with annual revenues of approximately $7 billion and owned or licensed operations in more than 150 countries. Breaking Travel News finds out more.

It has been all change for Avis Europe since ITB Berlin last year, with shareholders in the company voting to approve a takeover by Avis Budget Group. The move reunited the two companies for the first time in over 20 years and created an international powerhouse in the car rental sector. The terms of the deal saw Avis Europe shareholders receive 315 pence per share, valuing the company at approximately £636 million.

World Travel Awards noted the success of the acquisition at its 2011 Grand Final in Doha, bestowing the prestigious title of Europe’s Leading Business Car Hire Company on Avis Europe.

The merger created a company with annual revenues of approximately $7 billion and owned or licensed operations in more than 150 countries. Announcing the deal Ronald Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Avis Budget, said: “This transaction represents an outstanding opportunity for Avis Budget, and the acquisition of a business that we have long sought to own. The transaction re-unites the global operation of the Avis and Budget brands under one corporate umbrella, and is both financially and strategically compelling.

“We expect the combination of our two companies will allow us to more effectively serve vehicle-rental customers worldwide, and to achieve synergies of more than $30 million per year.”
Commenting on the deal, Pascal Bazin, chief executive officer of Avis Europe, said: “Over the last three years, we are proud to have delivered a successful transformation and turnaround of our business, together with successful geographic development in fast growing territories and development of new mobility offers.

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“This deal enabled us to provide both a compelling substantial immediate cash return to shareholders and an exciting opportunity for Avis Europe’s customers, employees, partners and licensees to benefit from the many advantages that will come from being part of a combined Avis Europe and Avis Budget Group with our two strong global brands, increased scale and improved access to capital.”

Etihad Airways Deal
Since the closure of the deal last year, Avis Europe has gone from strength-to-strength. In December 2011 Etihad Airways confirmed a partnership with the car rental giant, enabling members of its loyalty programme to earn Etihad Guest Miles when they rent cars from Avis. Etihad Guest members also now enjoy discounts at any of the international car hire company’s more than 5,100 outlets.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “Avis is a brand name that is recognised around the world as a quality provider of rental cars. At Etihad Airways, we are always looking for partnerships that create value and benefits for our loyal customers. This partnership with Avis gives Etihad Guest programme members the opportunity to extend their benefits from the air onto the ground when they plan their travel.”

Duboscq, Avis EMEA regional director for the Mediterranean, Middle-East and Ireland, added: “Partnering with Etihad Airways is great news for Avis as we continue our work to improve the overall mobility experience of our travellers. Linking up with a leading airline will enable us to deliver a more responsive and cost-effective service, combining efficiency in a way that is specifically tailored to meet each customer’s individual needs.”