South Africa’s Barloworld Automotive has announced that it has at last found buyers for its Budget and Avis operations in Scandinavia. The firm has been looking to dispose of its Swedish, Danish and Norwegian assets since 2008, following an internal strategic review which identified car rental projects in Scandinavia as non-core, and therefore disposable.

Barloworld has confirmed that the buyers as a consortium in Europe led by RAC Holding. The investors include Norwegian group, PETT, and Dag Andre Johansen, Scandinavian Car Rental chief executive. The deal is worth R222 million.

Chief executive of Barloworld Automotive, Martin Laubscher, said that he was confident the new owners of the Budget and Avis brands in Scandinavia would be able to continue to grow those brands as well as continue to offer a high level of services to customers in the region. He added that Barloworld Automotive would now be able to focus on building the Avis brand and offering improved levels of service to customers in southern Africa.

Head of investor relations at Barloworld, Sibani Mngomezulu, said that a number of investors came forward after Barloworld announced its wish to sell off its operations in northern Europe. After extensive deliberation the present RAC Holding consortium was chosen as the most desirable.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards settling some of Barloworld’s debts as well as allowing a redeployment of cash to other parts of the business. Chief executive of Barloworld, Clive Thomson, confirmed that the sale would help to reduce the firm’s level of borrowing.