Tikehau in driving seat as sole lender in Centauro Rent deal

A unitranche package supports Portobello’s acquisition of a majority stake in the car rental company as it continues to expand its presence in the Spanish market.

Tikehau has backed private equity firm Portobello Capital’s acquisition of Centauro Rent, a car rental service based in Spain, with a unitranche financing package.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed and Tikehau declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

The company operates in both Spain and Portugal from 15 locations across the Iberian Peninsula, targeting tourist spots. Its headquarters are in Benidorm and it manages a fleet of 18,000 vehicles. Turnover for the company last year was €66 million, according to Private Equity International.

Portobello acquired a majority interest in the company, while the previous owners retained a minority stake.

Carmen Alonso, head of Iberia at Tikehau, told PDI: “The company is continuing to expand across the Iberian Peninsula and beyond as the tourism sector across Southern Europe continues to grow. Spain has been one of the top destinations for tourists as they turn away from countries such as Tunisia and Turkey, where there has been a lot of volatility.

“It’s a dynamic company and the flexible non-amortising finance package enables the company to implement its growth strategy and support the private equity investment,” she added.

Erik Devesa, chief executive of Centauro, said: “Portobello’s investment and Tikehau’s flexible financing further strengthen our position to grow Centauro and consolidate it as one of the companies of reference in the European rent-a-car industry.”

The transaction is Tikehau’s fourth in the region and follows a recent €60 million debt investment supporting the recapitalisation of construction group Terratest. The firm is planning to open an office in the Spanish capital in September.