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Auto Escape acquires Car del Mar

15th September 2011 Print

Auto Escape, France’s leading online broker in leisure car hire with operations in 13 European countries, has announced the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Car del Mar, one of Germany's leading companies in the sector.

This acquisition will reinforce Auto Escape’s leadership in Continental Europe by almost doubling its volume of business. Based in Hamburg, Car del Mar has operations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the US and the United Kingdom. Both companies will continue to operate and provide their services under their respective brand names. The car hire firms will also keep their staff, which now totals 110 employees in France, Germany and Scandinavia.

Since the company was founded in 1999, Auto Escape has enjoyed rapid growth to become one of the main international operators in the online, low-cost car hire brokerage. The combined resources of Auto Escape and Car del Mar, long-standing leaders in two of Europe’s major countries, France and Germany, will allow Auto Escape to continue its profitable growth and bolster its relations with its car hire partners.

Bruno Couly, Chairman of Auto Escape, will head up the new group and Carsten Greiner, co-founder and Chief Executive of Car del Mar has been named Executive Vice Chairman of the new organisation.

Through the support given to Auto Escape’s directors, Montefiore Investment, the company’s majority shareholder since 2009, has smoothly paved the way to secure this international acquisition central to its development strategy since being listed on the stock market in 2007.

Bruno Couly, Chairman and Chief Executive of Auto Escape says: “This acquisition is consistent with Auto Escape’s expansion strategy which aims to establish our firm as an international leader on the online car rental brokerage market. In addition to the strong positions Car del Mar holds on several European markets, I am very much looking forward to working with Car del Mar's management. Since I took my role at the head of Auto Escape in 2005, the journey has been an exciting one.”

Carsten Greiner, founder and Chief Executive of Car del Mar announced: “After leading Car del Mar to becoming one of the European leaders in a few years, my shareholders and myself have made the decision to sell the company to Auto Escape. I am certain that we share the same vision as Auto Escape and that our combined teams will create a new international dimension to the newly formed group.”

Daniel Elalouf, Chief Executive of Montefiore Investment, adds: “We are delighted to be accompanying Auto Escape along this latest stage of its development. This operation, creating a leader in Continental Europe, is wholly in line with Montefiore Investment’s investment strategy, which is centred on profitable growth and the creation of ‘European champions’.”