CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, today announced the completion of its option to purchase a majority ownership interest in Barcelona-based Catalunya Carsharing S.A., known as Avancar. With this transaction completed, Zipcar is now the majority shareholder for the company with a controlling stake of more than 60 percent. This deal builds on Zipcar's initial equity investment in Avancar which was announced in December 2009.
"As the majority shareholder in Avancar, we look forward to developing Avancar's presence in the Barcelona metro area," said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar. "Avancar has made a strong start and we believe there is significant opportunity to scale the business with the benefit of our technology, processes and car sharing know-how."
"Additionally, our increased stake in Avancar is in keeping with our planned build-out of a car sharing network in cities across Europe," Griffith continued. "With the completion of this transaction, along with the integration of our UK operations and the recently announced appointment of Frerk-Malte Feller as president of Zipcar Europe, we are gaining momentum as we work to grow and expand the car sharing category and Zipcar's presence throughout Europe."
Avancar is the largest car sharing service in Spain. The company operates a fleet of vehicles throughout the cities of Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Valles.
According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the market for car sharing in Europe could reach 5.5 million members and 3 billion euros. In addition, a 2009 Zipcar study supported by the Economist Intelligence Unit's data and methodology found that Barcelona is a top 20 global car sharing city.
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. The company operates a fleet of vehicles throughout the cities of Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Valles. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, allowing reservations to be made online or by telephone up to five minutes before the start of one's trip. More information is available at www.avancar.es.
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with approximately 650,000 members and 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.
Photos and b-roll footage are available for media purposes at www.zipcar.mediaroom.com.
Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including statements with respect to the potential car sharing market in Barcelona, our planned build out of a car sharing network across Europe, the continued growth of the car sharing category and our presence across Europe and the market for car sharing in Europe. Among the factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements include our ability to profitably attract new members and retain existing customers, adverse economic conditions in general and adverse economic conditions specifically affecting the markets in which we currently or in the future may operate, our ability to compete effectively, our ability to expand into new geographic markets, and our ability to manage growth and other risks detailed in our publicly available filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements reflect our expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting our views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release.
SOURCE Zipcar, Inc.