Expedia is accelerating expansion in the European car rental sector with the takeover of a string of websites operating under the Auto Escape umbrella.
The US company is acquiring one of the leading European online car hire reservations firms from private equity fund Montefiore Investment and certain members of the AutoEscape Group’s management team.
The value of the deal was not disclosed but Auto Escape will become a part of Expedia’s CarRentals.com brand.
Auto Escape, established in 1999 and with offices in Hamburg and Pertuis in France, works with almost 300 suppliers in 125 countries and offers bookings through its Auto Escape and Car del Mar brands.
The business will report into Henrik Kjellberg, president of Expedia’s Hotwire discount travel site.
He said: “We are excited to expand our CarRentals.com brand internationally so that we can provide our customers more choices across the globe and help our supply partners expand their marketing reach.”
Expedia expects the deal to be finalised in the third quarter of the year, pending regulatory approval.