Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK has signed an agreement to acquire SHB Hire which will make it one of the largest commercial vehicle rental fleets in the country, with more than 45,000 vehicles.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see SHB Hire operate under the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent brand and will enable Enterprise to "deliver increased value and choice to its Flex-E-Rent customers". It follows Enterprise's strategy to diversify its Flex-E-Rent business both organically and through acquisition (it acquired commercial vehicle provider Burnt Tree in 2014).
SHB Hire has a diverse rental fleet of more than 18,500 vehicles ranging from cars, light commercial vehicles (LCVs), heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), golf buggies and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), 4x4s, HGV tippers and specialist HGVs. It has a risk fleet of 5,641 cars and vans according to last year's FN50.
The agreement comes after SHB Hire’s owners, the Street family, sought a buyer that could take the company to the next stage of development.
Khaled Shahbo (pictured), managing director/senior vice president for the UK & Ireland, Enterprise Holdings, said: “The Street family established and built SHB Hire into an industry-leader with an impressive customer base and reputation for customer service. The depth and breadth of the company’s product lines provide a good fit with the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent business.
"There are many similarities between the two organisations underscored by a like-minded service culture and great employees who are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service.
"Both organisations also have a rich heritage – SHB Hire has been operating for five decades while Enterprise celebrates its 25th anniversary in the UK this year. We are confident that together we can create a stronger business and a truly world class commercial vehicle offering.
He added: “We are committed to working closely with the SHB Hire team to ensure a smooth and effective transition once we are in a position to move forward."
SHB Hire Chairman, Mike Street, who last year entered the Fleet News Hall of Fame, said: “We needed to find the right partner to acquire the SHB Hire business. Enterprise and SHB Hire employees share a commitment to delivering the best customer care. The fact that we are both family-owned and run has enabled us to take a long-term view. The acquisition secures the future of the business and will provide customers with a greater diversity of product lines, as well as access to industry leading technologies and infrastructure.
“Handing over SHB Hire has been a difficult decision and has required careful planning. However, my family and I are confident that this agreement with Enterprise Flex-E-Rent provides an outstanding opportunity for both companies’ customers and employees. The values and culture that have underlined the success of SHB Hire over the years will continue to thrive as part of a larger, streamlined, well-diversified vehicle rental business.”