(Reuters) - Europcar (EUCAR.PA) has agreed to buy Europe's largest low-cost car rental company Goldcar, the French firm said on Monday, marking its fourth acquisition this year and sending its shares to a record high.
The proposed Goldcar transaction is based on an enterprise value of 550 million euros ($616 million) and a post-synergy adjusted corporate EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) multiple of about seven times.
Europcar has already acquired Milan-based carsharing company GuidaMi, Danish franchisee Europcar Denmark and Germany's Buchbinder in pursuit of its goal of reaching annual sales of more than 3 billion euros and an underlying EBITDA margin above 14 percent by the end of 2020.
Goldcar, which is based in Spain and was sold to Europcar by Italian investment fund Investindustrial, has a strong position on the Iberian peninsula and adds to the French company's low-cost businesses, which already include the InterRent brand.
"We are well placed to have completed the bulk of our 2020 ambition in terms of acquisitions," Chief Executive Caroline Parot said in a statement, adding that the focus now shifted to integration and delivering expected cost savings.
Europcar shares rose as much as 4.6 percent to a record high of 12.60 euros on Monday.
Europcar said it had agreed bridge financing with a large international banking syndicate to support the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of 2017.
The French company said it planned to raise equity equivalent to up to 10 percent of its capital, or an increase of 160-165 million euros, to maintain an "efficient and resilient capital structure".
Following the acquisition and capital increase, Europcar expects to reach a corporate net financial debt to EBITDA ratio comfortably below three times by the end of 2017.
Parot said the capital increase was not linked to the Goldcar acquisition and no date had yet been set.
"We are not obliged to do so either after or before (the Goldcar transaction)," she told reporters. "It is the sound management of our balance sheet policy given the ambitious programme of non-organic growth that we have."
In 2016, Goldcar generated full-year revenue of about 240 million euros and an adjusted corporate EBITDA of some 48 million euros.
($1 = 0.8933 euros)
Editing by Louise Heavens and David Clarke