Founded over 60 years ago, Buchbinder is a well-established company in Germany, with an extensive network of 152 stations of which 18 airport stations and an average fleet in excess of 20,000 vehicles. It is the 5th largest car rental company in the market with a solid positioning as a low cost car rental operator, as well as a leading position in the vans & trucks segment. Buchbinder is also a market leader in Austria and is present in Hungary and Slovakia. In 2016, Buchbinder Group generated revenues of around €200 million.
The company has a well-diversified business model, a large customer base with a strong focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and a renowned brand praised by local customers for the quality of its service.
The acquisition of Buchbinder will significantly boost Europcar’s nascent low cost business in Germany and the strength of the Buchbinder brand will bring an opportunity to source further into the large pool of German and Austrian travellers in order to grow Europcar’s low cost business in southern Europe.
In addition, the combination of Buchbinder and Europcar Germany’s vans and trucks businesses will not only create a market leader but more importantly act as a core pillar to drive the vans and trucks expansion strategy across the Group.
Finally, Buchbinder’s best practical expertise on fleet remarketing will deliver further opportunities across the Europcar Group.
The acquisition is subject to customary conditions precedent, including the approval of antitrust authorities, and is expected to close in the second half of the year 2017.
The transaction, which is expected to generate significant synergies in the medium term, is based on a post-synergy Adjusted Corporate EBITDA multiple slightly above 5x.
The Clearwater International team was led by Managing Partner Markus Otto. The global automotive sector team headed by Managing Partner Tobias Schätzmüller supported the deal team with its automotive sector know how.
Konrad Altenbuchner, Shareholder & Managing Partner, Buchbinder said: “As a combined entity, we believe Buchbinder and the Europcar Group can provide a more comprehensive range and as a result, even better services to our customers. I am delighted about this opportunity to strengthen the Buchbinder brand in the future and know that I can count on the support of all the employees of the Buchbinder Group to continue to spread the Buchbinder philosophy.”
Caroline Parot, CEO, Europcar Group added: “The acquisition of Buchbinder is a major strategic step for the Europcar Group as it will enable us to become the number one player in both Germany and Austria. It will reinforce our presence in the SME business segment and will significantly boost both our low cost and vans & trucks businesses in those countries.”
Markus Otto, Managing Partner, Clearwater International concluded: “We are delighted to have assisted the shareholder in finding the perfect partner for Buchbinder in the highly competitive car rental market. This transaction represents a landmark transaction in the European vehicle rental services sector and mobility market. As a strong strategic partner Europcar Group is able to further manifest Buchbinder’s leading market position and capitalise its growth opportunities.”