Skip to navigationSkip to contentSkip to footerHelp using this website - Accessibility statement
Advertisement

Jucy to drive off with 310 campervans in $39m Apollo deal

Simon EvansSenior reporter
Updated

Campervan rental group Apollo Tourism and Leisure intends selling $39 million of assets including 310 motorhomes and the Star RV brand to rival rental vehicle group Jucy in an attempt to win over competition regulators in Australia and New Zealand for a broader merger deal with another player.

Apollo shares jumped 26 per cent to 65ยข on Friday after it put a price tag on the Jucy side deal on Friday in an announcement to the ASX.

Apollo has been conducting a tortuous process to try and finalise a merger with New Zealand group Tourism Holdings, which was first announced last December and would value Apollo at about 75ยข a share if it went ahead.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in April had serious issues with the combined market power of Apollo and Tourism Holdings, and so a lengthy process of carving off some assets to appease them began months ago.

Apollo Tourism intends selling 310 motorhomes and a string of other assets to rival Jucy as it tries to appease competition regulators. ย 

Tourism Holdings operates brands in Australia including Maui, Britz and Mighty Camper. Apollo operates rental brands including Star RV, Apollo, Cheapa Campa and Hippie Camper.

Advertisement

Apollo told the ASX on Friday that a divestment deal worth $NZ45 million ($39 million) had been agreed with Jucy, where it would sell 200 rental motorhomes in Australia and 11 in NZ to Jucy, plus a proportion of the forward bookings associated with them.

Apollo will also sell the Star RV rental motorhome brand to Jucy, and surplus property leases on rental depots in Auckland, Perth, Alice Springs, Darwin and Hobart. Apollo and Tourism Holdings have also agreed to supply 40 motorhomes for Jucy to purchase in calendar 2023.

The divestment is conditional on the merger going ahead. The ACCC is scheduled to announce a final decision on September 29. The New Zealand competition regulator gave the green light to the overall merger deal on Friday, saying the divestments to Jucy were an โ€œacceptable remedyโ€.

Jucy operates in both NZ and Australia and generally targets a younger demographic with its fleet of rental vehicles and optimistic slogans on the side such as โ€œAlways Take the Scenic Routeโ€.

Apollo listed on the ASX in November 2016 with an issue price of $1 and reached $1.90 by early 2018. But the COVID-19 pandemic trashed the business when international tourism stopped, and lockdowns and state border closures severely curtailed domestic operations.

On completion of the merger, Apollo shareholders will own 25 per cent of the combined group. The Trouchet family, which currently holds 53.4 per cent of Apollo, will end up with 13.4 per cent of the merged entity.

Tourism Holdings is listed on the New Zealand stock exchange, and plans to become a dual-listed company on both the NZ and Australian stock exchanges.

Apollo began as a tiny rental business with one campervan in a suburban Brisbane backyard in 1985, operated by the current chief executiveโ€™s parents, Gus and Carolyn Trouchet.

Simon Evans writes on business specialising in retail, manufacturing, beverages, mining and M&A. He is based in Adelaide. Connect with Simon on Twitter. Email Simon at [email protected]

Read More

  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Apollo Tourism & Leisure
  • Tourism
  • AFR Weekend

Latest In Transport

Fetching latest articles

Most Viewed In Companies