Volkswagen has said that its takeover offer made for international vehicle rental giant Europcar has been approved by France’s market regulator.
The car manufacturer teamed up with asset manager Attestor Limited and Dutch mobility group Pon Holdings BV to make the offer at a proposed price of 0.50 euro per share – valuing Europcar at 2.9 billion euros ($3.4 billion) – back in July.
VW said: “The Volkswagen Group, together with its partners Attestor Limited and Pon Holdings B.V., has reached an important milestone in the planned acquisition of Europcar: The French financial market regulator Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) today approved the takeover offer of Green Mobility Holding S.A. for the shares of Europcar Mobility Group.”
It added: “The start of the acceptance period for the tender of shares in Europcar Mobility Group will be announced by the AMF.”
Europcar's international network of car rental operations operates in more than 140 countries, and involves a fleet of over 350,000 vehicles.
Spelling out the importance of the acquisition as VW looks to transition towards being a mobility, provider, in a report published by Reuters, Volkswagen Group chief executive Herbert Diess, said in the summer: "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.
"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."
Details of the Europcar offer reveal that UK fund Attestor would take 27% of the shares in Europcar, with Dutch mobility platform Pon controlling 7%.
Back in March this year Volkswagen chief executive, Ralf Brandstätter, set-out his brand's plan to leverage profitability from data as it focuses on a future of autonomous electric vehicles (EV) with its new Accelerate brand strategy.
The strategy revealed VW's ambitions to see data-based business models tap into additional sources of income and autonomous driving made widely available by 2030.
“E-mobility was just the beginning: the real disruption has yet to come. With our strategy we will Accelerate towards the digital future,” said Brandstätter.
“In the coming years, we will change Volkswagen as never before.”