Fleet News

Budget finalises German sell-off

A NEW major player in the German car rental and leasing business has emerged following the acquisition of Budget's operation in the country.

ALAG Auto-Mobil, part of the Albis Leasing Group, will operate the master franchise in Germany for an initial 20-year period, making its combined rental and leasing operation one of the largest in the country.

Albis group senior vice-president Wolfgang Richter said: 'Our vision is to bring together car rental and car lease and to offer our clients sophisticated mobility solutions. With that we will become one of Germany's major players in the fleet and car rental and lease business.'

James Cohen, chief operating officer of Budget's international division, BRAC Rent a Car International, said: 'This latest sale virtually completes the transition of Budget's international corporate operations back to their original franchise roots.

'The agreement is of major significance to the Budget worldwide system as Germany represents the largest vehicle rental market outside the USA.

'The outbound market alone is estimated to be worth €2.8 billion and the major international car rental companies account for 60% of that business. In Europe, Germany is surrounded by nine countries in which Budget has strong network representation.'

Richter added: 'The strength of Budget Group's international network together with our financial strength in the German truck and car leasing business builds a good and reliable basis for growth in the future.

'ALAG has equity of €150 million and plans to invest €500 million in ALAG and Budget Germany's business expansion within the next three years.'

Alexander Kowatsch, currently general manager of the Budget corporate operations in Germany, will become an executive director of the new master franchise and oversee ALAG's ambitious plans for the Budget brand in Germany.

Albis Leasing Group already operates a number of vehicle leasing companies and says these offer 'potential synergies for Budget through the provision of rental vehicles as replacement units while lease vehicles are off the road'.

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