The Thesele Consortium, led by the 100% black-owned Thesele Group, on Thursday, 15 April 2021 signed a binding agreement to purchase Bidvest Car Rental (BCR) from the listed Bidvest Group.
The agreement is subject to approval by the Competition Commission. It will see BCR continue its services with no disruption to its public and corporate customers, while expanding to new areas and lines of business with the support of the Thesele Consortium.
“We would like to thank the Bidvest management team and the board of directors for their support in ensuring that BCR is transferred into a safe pair of hands. We have communicated the change in ownership to our key strategic partners and have received their unanimous support for the transaction,” says Paulette McGhee, CEO of BCR.
BCR is one of the three largest car rental companies in South Africa. It started trading in South Africa under the well-known Budget brand in 1968, converting to a proudly Bidvest domestic brand in 2015, offering a wide range of services. This includes car rental, a chauffeur drive service, Door2Door transfers, Van and Truck rental, coach charters and their innovative Snappdrive keyless fleet service.
“Our brand promise, ‘Because every minute counts’, is an appreciation that efficiency is a key driver, and we understand that whether on business or on holiday, every minute of our customers’ journey is important to them. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the transaction is concluded with absolutely no disruption to our customers.
“We realise that our customers have a wide range of options when it comes to vehicle rentals, and we want to honour and reward their unwavering support with the best possible service going forward,” says McGhee.
“The entire car rental industry was severely affected during the various levels of the national lockdown, and we estimate that the industry as a whole contracted by 50% in 2020. Despite this setback, our trading figures show a recovery that is both faster and more robust than initially expected,” says McGhee.
BCR has emerged from the disruptions of 2020 and the early part of 2021 as a profitable and cash-positive business.
Oliver Petersen, an executive director with the Thesele Group, supports McGhee: “We thank Bidvest for their support in completing this transaction; we share their commitment to a seamless transfer of ownership and will support the BCR management team once the transaction becomes effective.”
More details on the members of the Thesele Consortium and the structure of the transaction will be made public after approval has been received from the various regulatory authorities.