The head of Fraikin UK has said Petit Forestier’s decision to abandon its plans to buy his leasing firm will not affect the business.
Ed Cowell told Motortransport.co.uk that the French-owned company remains “truly confident,” pointing to the firm’s performance in 2016. This saw both Fraikin Group and Fraikin UK grow their long term contracts portfolio year-on-year by 6.4% and 10.5% respectively.
Cowell said: “The management board and I are truly confident in the group's future. We have a number of strategic projects underway to continue the transformation of the company and thus continue and accelerate our profitable growth.”
French firm Petit Forestier’s bid to buy Fraikin Group, revealed last June, aimed to create a major European player in the sector with combined annual turnover of £1.09bn.
However Petit Forestier abandoned its acquisition plans this month after the French Competition Authority demanded concessions from the firm, after raising concerns that the deal would create “a quasi-monopoly”.
The authority argued that the deal would give Petit Forestier a 90% market share of France’s refrigerated vehicle rental market, which could lead to price rises for corporate customers.
Referring to the decision, Cowell said: “Following the market test carried out at the end of the year, Petit Forestier deemed that the conditions set by the French Competition Authority were too high.
“These conditions assumed the sale of a significant number of contracts, vehicles and branches in France, and fundamentally changed the objectives of the project. As a result Petit Forestier has decided to not proceed with the merger.”
Last week Fraikin UK announced a £5m deal with paper and packaging company Antalis, which has commissioned 81 trucks as part of major fleet expansion plans.