It is rare indeed for a public company official to talk about acquisitions in process, but that’s precisely what Avis Budget Group CFO David Wyshner did at an investor conference, outlining how the company has three tuck-in acquisitions in the works.
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 22nd Annual Leveraged Finance Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona September 30, Wyshner said the company hopes to make the three acquisitions over the next six months, and that one of them could be larger than the $50 million acquisition of Payless in July 2013.
The three acquisitions would likely increase the opportunities of existing brands, including Avis, Budget and Zipcar, to expand locations and volumes, although one of the acquisitions could also involve co-branding, Wyshner said.
The acquisitions would be at reasonable prices and attractive EBITDA multiples, he said.
He likened the expected upcoming merger and acquisition activity to moves by Budget in the last few years to enter Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy, which were countries that Avis operated in but Budget didn’t, and thus there were opportunities for synergies.
Wyshner also said that Zipcar, which debuted in Paris, France several weeks ago, its fourth major market in Europe, has expansion opportunities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. “I think this is an areas that we will look to invest in,” Wyshner said.
So why was the Avis Budget Group CFO tipping the company’s hand on upcoming acquisitions?
Wyshner said he was speaking about the three upcoming acquisitions because in early August the company stated that its acquisition pipeline was “light,” with only one candidate, and that AvisBudget was unlikely to spend more than $50 million on that acquisition.
But, AvisBudget’s M&A opportunities strengthened throughout the rest of August, and now there are three targets in the pipeline, Wyshner said.
“I guess I’m in the unusual situation of wanting to mention them but not really in the position to provide significant details about the transactions right now,” Wysnher said.
In other news, Wyshner told the conference that fleet costs were coming in higher than the company’s financial guidance had specified. AvisBudget’s stock consequently felll 6.97% to $54.89 on September 30.