Private equity fund manager MBK Partners has secured a 100% stake in CAR Inc., China’s leading car rental company.
MBK acquired a 20.86% stake in CAR Inc. in November 2020 and secured the remaining stake for HK $ 8.49 billion on July 5. MBK delisted CAR Inc. from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for reasons of managerial efficiency on July 8.
Founded in 2007, CAR Inc. is one of China’s largest internet platforms for car rental services. It operates 149,000 registered cars. It recorded sales of 883 million yuan in the first quarter of 2021, up 0.5% from the same period of 2020. MBK estimates that the growth of the car rental business in China will exceed that of other countries due to restrictions imposed by China on the issuance of license plates. .
MBK Partners has expanded its presence in the Chinese car rental market by investing in major Chinese players in 2020 and 2021. The Chinese car rental market is expected to reach US $ 23 billion in the future. MBK Partners acquired eHi Car Services, China’s second-largest car rental company based in Shanghai, China, in April 2020.
âMore than 390 million driver’s licenses have been issued in China so far, but the number of approved license plates stands at 200 million, which means that the number of potential customers of CAR Inc. amounts to 190 million. The large Chinese market and its enormous growth potential led MBK to invest in CAR Inc. â, said Kim Byung-ju, president of MBK Partners, during a video conference with the Alternative Investments Society of the London School of Economics in May.