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Biggest road trip yet

It’s more common for your competition to drive you out of business than significantly help line your pockets, but that hasn’t been the case for budget campervan company Jucy Rentals.

Thanks to tourism operators Tourism Holdings (THL) and Apollo Tourism & Leisure (ATL) finally getting their proposed merger over the line, Jucy has gained around $45 million of its competitor's assets.

Jucy co-founder and chief executive Dan Alpe said that the $45m Apollo assets deal, which includes 110 four to six-berth motorhomes from ATL’s rental fleet in NZ and 200 four to six-berth motorhomes from ATL’s rental fleet in Australia, was too good to pass up and will be the helping hand Jucy needs to crack the Australian market.

“It was a unique opportunity for us to pick up a different sector of the market,” he told BusinessDesk last week. “It’ll allow us to be a significant player in that motorhome space.” It took almost a year for THL and ATL to convince the market that their proposed merger wouldn’t wipe out the rest of the trans-Tasman campervan market. Australasia’s competition watchdogs were concerned that smaller rental campervan companies were at too much risk of being pushed out if the deal went ahead. However, they gave the thumbs up after the two tourism operators announced they were selling $45m worth of Apollo’s assets to Jucy in late September.

The sale to Jucy had been going on for months behind the scenes, Alpe said. Jucy’s Australian private equity partner, Next Capital, had already been in discussion with THL and ATL about selling assets to Jucy before Next had even joined Jucy in August 2022. “They actually brought that opportunity to the table,” Alpe said. “It’s been a really interesting process and nice to see it all coming together.” The $45m figure will vary slightly, as it’s based on what the ultimate asset value will come to. “But we get it all, so it's not a big deal,” Alpe said.

Originally published on Business Desk October 2022

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