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Travel giant Expedia acquires European car rental firm Auto Escape

Posting in Transportation

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Passenger airplane taking off from airport headed over the Pacific ocean.
 Ron Chapple Stock

Expedia has agreed to buy European car rental firm Auto Escape to better compete with European car rental rivals.

The acquisition, which takes Auto Escape Group over from Montefiore Investment and Auto Escape Group's management team, will merge the car rental company's assets to become part of the Expedia-owned Hotwire Group's CarRentals.com brand.

Auto Escape's two brands connect roughly 300 rental car suppliers to consumers in 125 countries, and employs over 100 people in Hamburg, Germany and Pertuis, France. The deal will allow Expedia to better compete with rivals including Rentalcars.com by strengthening Expedia's CarRentals.com team, assets and networks.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"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," said Henrik Kjellberg, President of the Hotwire Group.

The travel conglomerate accounts for travel businesses including Hotels.com, Hotwire, eLong and Trivago.

Expedia expects the deal to close during the third quarter of 2014 on the condition of regulatory approval.

Read on: Skift

Image credit: Flickr

Photo: Ron Chapple Stock

— By on June 27, 2014, 2:44 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure