Europcar Lease was previously owned jointly by Arval (part of BNP Paribas) and Europcar France (part of Volkswagen-owned Europcar International).
The acquisition will see Arval operate a fleet of more than 120,000 vehicles in France, and leaves Volkswagen without a presence in the multi-marque leasing market in both France and the UK (following its decision to refocus International Fleet Management on the VW, Seat, Skoda and Audi finance operations).
Europcar will keep the rights to the name 'Europcar Lease' and continue to develop its car leasing business. The former 'Europcar Lease' will be renamed Arval (not Arval Service Lease), and will retain its own management team, but there will be an integration of certain back-office functions with Arval Service Lease, while in the longer term a common IT strategy could be on the agenda.
Philippe Noubel, director general of Arval Service Lease, said: 'Europcar Lease has some products that we don't have, and therefore some things that we don't know how to do today - such as its approach to the small and medium sized fleet market.' (May 2000)