McNicoll Vehicle Hire joins international group in Avis acquisition


KBS Corporate has advised on the sale of commercial leasing company McNicoll Vehicle Hire to Avis Budget Group.

Founded in 1971, McNicoll is one of the largest vehicle hire companies in Scotland, boasting a fleet of over 1,400 vans, cars and buses.

Operating with offices in Edinburgh, Newbridge and Livingston, McNicoll has cemented itself as a market leader and received Business Reporter’s Best of British Award 2022.

“McNicoll was very attractive from a profitability perspective and due to its modern, well-maintained fleet of vehicles,” said Joe Norris, Associate Corporate Director at KBS.

“There was a great opportunity for a buyer to seamlessly integrate McNicoll’s fleet into their own without the need for repairs and replacements.”

Directors David and Gillian Stewart instructed KBS Corporate on the sale of McNicoll as they believed it was the right time to partner with a larger firm and push the business to its next level.

Sara Fletcher, Senior Corporate Document Writer at KBS, worked alongside the shareholders to create engaging marketing materials that highlighted McNicoll’s strengths.

Sara advised: “When marketing the business, it was important to focus on McNicoll’s status as Scotland’s largest vehicle rental company, highlighting its substantial fleet of vehicles and long-term customer relationships to establish it as an opportunity with scope for further growth.”

McNicoll generated significant interest across the commercial leasing M&A market, with the successful offer being received from Avis Budget Group.

With operations in 180 countries, Avis is a global organisation in the leasing and rental sector, benefitting from an international fleet of 655,000 vehicles.

McNicoll will join Avis’s 10,250 rental locations, becoming a Scottish base from which Avis will pursue further expansion.

Alan Oliver-Smith, Avis’s UK General Manager, said: “Investing in Scotland, broadening our vehicle rental offering and working alongside a locally owned and well-renowned business is a core focus for us. 

“As we venture into this exciting partnership, we look forward to building on the McNicoll team’s passion and expertise for short-term and long-term vehicle hire.”

David Stewart, McNicoll’s Managing Director, added: “The values of Avis are strongly aligned with those of McNicoll and our combined vision for the future gives our talented local staff amazing opportunities to develop their careers. 

“By combining the strengths of the two companies, we can provide our loyal customer base with an even better rental experience whilst also attracting new customers across Scotland. We’re very much looking forward to a bright future.”

Commenting on Avis’s acquisition, Joe Norris said: “Avis is one of the largest vehicle rental companies in the world, so this feels like the perfect fit for McNicoll. 

“Avis was attracted to McNicoll’s extensive fleet, strong customer relationships and sustained growth over recent years. I am delighted with the outcome we achieved for David and Gillian in terms of the value generated and the new home we have found for their business.”

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