Refrigerated-rental firm Petit Forestier is to buy leasing and rental provider Fraikin in a deal that will create a European player with combined sales of €1.3bn (£1.09bn).

Villepinte, France-based Petit Forestier has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Fraikin to acquire 100% of the business with financial backing from CVC Capital Partners and Eurazeo.

Petit Foresiter has 228 depots in Europe and the Maghreb region with 42,700 vehicles. Frakin – founded in 1944 with headquarters in Colombes, near Paris - has 180 depots and around 57,000 vehicles.

In the UK, Frakin placed 24th in CV Informer’s run down of the top 100 rental and leasing providers last year with approaching 3,500 trucks and more than 1,000 vans. It opened its first branch in the UK in 1978.

Petit Forestier has been active in the UK since 2003 and now has more than 4,000 hire vehicles.

Yves Forestier, chairman of Petit Forestier, said: “The acquisition of Fraikin constitutes four our family group a new structuring milestone in its development.

“It enables us to create a benchmark player, better equipped on both the French and European scale to face new competitions on the highly competitive vehicles hiring market,” he added.

Pierre-Louise Colin, chairman of Fraikin, said his team was fully behind the deal, which makes “perfect sense from an industrial perspective”.

Consultation with staff at the businesses is underway and the deal is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities.