Guillaume Pepy and Frederic Mazzella explain their surprising alliance: the sale of Ouibus buses to Blablacar in exchange for an entry from the SNCF to the capital of the car-sharing leader in France.
On November 12, SNCF announced the sale of its long-distance bus subsidiary Ouibus to carpooling leader Blablacar in exchange for an entry into its capital of less than 10%.
Why sell Ouibus to BlaBlaCar today?
Guillaume Pepy: With Frédéric Mazzella, we’ve been looking around for a long time to combine our strengths in shared mobility, but we couldn’t find the right package. We discussed again this summer and we agreed on this operation in two parts: the participation, for a large majority, in the capital increase of 101 million euros, dedicated to the development of Ouibus, in Europe in particular and the sale of this subsidiary to BlaBlaCar, which wants to develop in long-distance coaches.
Since its creation in 2012, Ouibus (formerly iDBUS) has never been profitable with 165 million euros in cumulative losses, including 36 million in 2017, how can BlaBlaCar change the situation?
Frédéric Mazzella : We have often heard this kind of question about BlaBlaCar. However, we are reaching equilibrium in 2018. Ouibus already has a 45% share of the French market and we intend to develop this service internationally. In particular by line extensions to Italy, Spain or Germany. In addition, there are a number of synergies to be achieved with BlaBlaCar: network optimization, internationalization of the brand, which should no longer be called Ouibus, as well as the pooling of technological resources.