HAMBURG -- Car rental groups Sixt and Budget on Monday dismissed speculation they were interested in buying Volkswagen's Europcar unit, for which Europe's largest automaker is reviewing its options.
"We have no interest in buying Europcar", said a spokeswoman for Sixt, Germany's biggest car rental agency.
Michael Gehricke, the head of Budget in Germany, added: "Europcar has the big weakness of not being represented in the United States with its own network. This makes the company less attractive in my view."
This was also an issue for potential financial investors, he said, noting he had not heard of any possible buyers so far.
Volkswagen had no comment on the future of Europcar, which it said on Sept. 23 could be expanded, sold or separately listed. The same applied to information technology business gedas AG as VW focuses on core operations.
The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported that VW had a short list of three bidders for gedas: Deutsche Telekom unit T-Systems and U.S.-based IT groups EDS and Affiliated Computer Services.
Offers from other bidders IBM, two financial investors including Apax and an Indian company did not make the final round, it said, citing industry sources.
The selection of IT firms for the final round suggests VW was seeking a strategic buyer for gedas, the paper said, adding the offers were worth around 500 million euros ($601.9 million).
Gedas generated 2004 sales of around 570 million euros and a pre-tax profit of 13.7 million euros.