Volkswagen receives approval from European regulators for Europcar bid


BERLIN, May 25 (Reuters) – European antitrust regulators have given unconditional approval to a bid by a Volkswagen-led consortium (VOWG_p.DE) for car rental company Europcar (EUCAR.PA), Volkswagen said on Wednesday, confirming a Reuters report last week that approval was expected. Read more

France’s stock market authority, the AMF, has set June 10 as the end of the initial acceptance period for investors to tender their shares. If there are not enough investors, the period can be extended for another 10 days, Volkswagen said.

Volkswagen, along with its consortium partners, asset manager Attestor Limited and Dutch mobility group Pon Holdings BV, are offering 0.50 euro ($0.53) per share for Europcar, plus 0.01 euro per share if 90% of shareholders accept the offer.

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Investors representing 68% of Europcar shares have already agreed to tender their shares, which would give the consortium control of the car rental group under French takeover laws and leave the French-listed company one share. quite illiquid. Read more

The consortium is aiming for a squeeze to give it more leverage in strategic decision-making, but crossing the 90% threshold is not essential, Volkswagen Financial Services chief executive Christian Dahlheim told Reuters.

“We are in favor of a squeeze-out, but it is not vital. We can make all business decisions with the 68% of the consortium,” Dahlheim said. “We believe that car sharing is important from a customer perspective, but can only be operated profitably if it complements a car rental business.”

He said Europcar would need several hundred million euros in investment to upgrade its IT infrastructure, funded by the car rental company’s own cash flow.

Volkswagen’s 2030 strategy announced last year predicts that software and services will drive growth in the global automotive market, which is expected to more than double in value to 5 trillion euros by the end of the decade.

($1 = 0.9366 euros)

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Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Christoph Steitz; Editing by Tom Sims and Cynthia Osterman

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