GARDEN CITY, NY, USA, AND PARIS, FRANCE, JUNE 30, 2000 - Avis Group Holdings, Inc. and BNP Paribas announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to establish a dynamic global joint venture. The Alliance will create one of the world's leading vehicle management solutions brands in North America and Europe. The closing of the transaction is subject to European regulatory approval.
This new relationship builds on the transatlantic cross-selling agreement that Avis' PHH and BNP Paribas' Arval entitieshave had for the past five years and combines the premier fleet management services and financial and technological strengths of each of the partners. Customers will be offered a comprehensive array of fleet management and leasing solutions supported by powerful internet-based management decision-making tools on a single global platform - a critical management capability unmatched in the industry.
The definitive agreement follows an agreement in principle that was announced on April 18th. The key terms of the agreement remain unchanged: BNP Paribas will acquire an 80% interest in a joint venture that will own PHH Europe and merge with Arval's European operations within one year and Avis will receive $800 million in cash. In addition, Avis will license PHH North America's award-winning, fleet management technology, PHH InterActiveSM, to the joint venture and Arval, for which Avis will receive an annual royalty. Initially, BNP Paribas will have 7 seats on the Alliance Company's board and Avis will have 3 seats.
In North America, the Alliance will be branded PHH/Arval and in Europe, Arval/PHH. Unique, enhanced services will be provided to global customers by sharing capabilities, marketing and a common information system platform. The Arval/PHH venture will be the leading services provider in this industry in Europe as a whole, and also individually in France, the UK and Italy, with 545,000 vehicles under management or lease - including 380,000 in the United Kingdom and 165,000 on the continent and 1,300,000 fleet cards in force. In North America, PHH/Arval has over 450,000 vehicles under management or lease.
Leverage Core Competencies and Broaden Global Scope
Michel Pébereau, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, stated, "This operation will enable BNP Paribas to rank N°1 in Europe, and this alliance between two leaders in their respective continents is a tremendous opportunity for BNP Paribas to further develop its business-to-business, fee-based specialized financial services operations."
A. Barry Rand, Avis Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "This exciting new venture with BNP Paribas not only supports our long-term growth plans but reflects our relentless determination to seize new growth opportunities that will build upon our premier brands and Internet decision-making tools. BNP Paribas' talented people, powerful brands and exceptionally strong financial position in the growing international fleet management marketplace are a perfect compliment to Avis Group's PHH European operations."
BNP Paribas is France's largest listed banking group. It ranks first in net income and has the fourth-largest market capitalization of all Euro-zone banks. The group ranks N°1 in France and in Europe in consumer finance, and among the top three in Europe in equipment leasing. Regarding vehicle management, Arval is the leader in France and Italy and ranks N° 3 in Europe, with 175,000 vehicles managed in ten countries.
Avis Group Holdings, Inc. is one of the world's leading service and information providers of comprehensive automotive transportation and vehicle management solutions. Avis Group operates the second largest general-use car rental business in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Latin American Caribbean region. In 1999, the Company acquired PHH Vehicle Management Services, the world's second largest fleet management and leasing company, together with Wright Express, the world's largest fleet card provider.