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Enterprise set to buy SHB Hire

Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK has signed an agreement to acquire commercial vehicle rental specialist, SHB Hire.

Khaled Shahbo, Enterprise Holdings managing director / senior vice president for the UK & Ireland

The family-owned company operates from 16 key locations nationwide and offers a fleet of more than 18,500 vehicles ranging from cars, 4x4s and LCVs to HGVs, golf buggies and all-terrain vehicles.

The deal – which has been made for an undisclosed amount and is subject to regulatory approval – will see SHB Hire operate under the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent brand to create one of the UK’s largest and most diverse commercial vehicle rental companies with more than 45,000 vehicles.

Enterprise said the acquisition will enable it to deliver increased value and choice to its Flex-E-Rent customers, and is in line with the company’s approach to diversifying its Enterprise Flex-E-Rent business both organically and through strategic acquisition.

Khaled Shahbo, Enterprise Holdings managing director / senior vice president for the UK & Ireland, said: “The Street family established and built SHB Hire into an industry-leader with an impressive customer base and reputation for customer service. The depth and breadth of the company’s product lines provide a good fit with the Enterprise Flex-E-Rent business. There are many similarities between the two organisations underscored by a like-minded service culture and great employees who are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service. Both organisations also have a rich heritage – SHB Hire has been operating for five decades while Enterprise celebrates its 25th anniversary in the UK this year. We are confident that together we can create a stronger business and a truly world class commercial vehicle offering.

“We are committed to working closely with the SHB Hire team to ensure a smooth and effective transition once we are in a position to move forward. Our single goal is to create a stronger, scalable, more sustainable business, which will flourish to support our customers’ growth and success as well as to create future opportunities for employees. We want Enterprise to be the first choice for customers – whatever the vehicle, whenever they need it, for however long they need it for.”

The agreement comes after SHB Hire’s owners, the Street family, sought a buyer that could take the company to the next stage of development, with the firm’s chairman Mike Street saying that there were many common factors between the two firms.

Street explained: “We needed to find the right partner to acquire the SHB Hire business. Enterprise and SHB Hire employees share a commitment to delivering the best customer care. The fact that we are both family-owned and run has enabled us to take a long-term view. The acquisition secures the future of the business and will provide customers with a greater diversity of product lines, as well as access to industry-leading technologies and infrastructure.

“Handing over SHB Hire has been a difficult decision and has required careful planning. However, my family and I are confident that this agreement with Enterprise Flex-E-Rent provides an outstanding opportunity for both companies’ customers and employees. The values and culture that have underlined the success of SHB Hire over the years will continue to thrive as part of a larger, streamlined, well-diversified vehicle rental business.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.