Zipcar Inc. announced Dec. 14 that it is exercising “its option to purchase a majority ownership interest” in Barcelona-based Catalunya Carsharing S.A., known as Avancar. The company operates a fleet of vehicles throughout the cities of Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Valles.
The transaction is expected to be completed in early 2012, and builds on Zipcar's initial equity investment in Avancar in December 2009. With this transaction, Zipcar increases its percentage ownership in Avancar to a controlling stake of 60%.
"We are excited to increase our position in Avancar which maintains a leadership position in the attractive Barcelona market," said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar. "We expect Barcelona to be a top-tier, car-sharing city in the years to come and a key part of our developing network of European cities. With the integration of our acquired U.K. operations completed, we have shifted our focus to expanding our European reach.”
Avancar Carsharing was the first car-sharing operator in Spain, and has been offering cars per hour or per day in Barcelona and its metropolitan area since 2005. More information is available at www.avancar.es.