Burnt Tree sold to Enterprise Rent-A-Car


Clearwater Advisor

Press Release

Clearwater International has advised Burnt Tree, the UK’s largest commercial rental vehicles provider, on its cross-border sale to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Shrewsbury-headquartered Burnt Tree has been operating for more than 30 years and ranked 14th in this year’s Sunday Times Profit Track 100, with profits jumping from £1.4m in 2009 to £10.3m in 2012.

The deal will see Enterprise take on Burnt Tree’s diverse commercial fleet of 17,000 vehicles, including commercial vans, HGVs, refrigerated trucks and accessible minibuses, its proprietary fleet management technologies, as well as its network of 20 branches and a team of 400 employees.

The acquisition increases the breadth of vehicles and services that Enterprise can provide to its customers under its flexible commercial vehicle division, Flex-E-Rent. In the immediate short-term, the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent and Burnt Tree businesses will continue to operate as two brands, with a view to creating a combined entity which will be headquartered in Shrewsbury.

The Business Services team at Clearwater International advised Burnt Tree on the sale, led by partner Paul Jones with support from director John Clark and associate director John Davies.

“Burnt Tree is an extremely well established business, the second largest player in the sector, with significant experience in its field. With the economy continuing to strengthen and funding more readily available, the vehicle outsourcing market is on an upward trajectory. The Enterprise deal is illustrative of industry attractiveness and the interest for delivering growth strategies through acquisitions. There has also been notable activity from private equity players, such as HgCapital and Sovereign, which also demonstrates the growth potential within the wider rental contract hire and fleet management market.”

Paul Jones, partner at Clearwater International

“Clearwater International performed excellently in advising us with the sale of Burnt Tree. Paul and the team provided outstanding support and advice, successfully guiding us through various twists and turns in the deal. This was a complex process, with additional challenges as a result of being a cross-border transaction, and was handled with a great degree of expertise and care. I would have no hesitation in recommending Clearwater International to anyone seeking corporate finance advice.”

Richard Metcalfe, CEO at Burnt Tree