Zipcar buys U.K. car sharing company Streetcar for $50 million

Car sharing service company Zipcar today announced that it has acquired Streetcar, a similar venture that operates in the UK out of London. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal says the deal is valued at $50 million.

The two companies will now be folded into one entity and soon operate solely under the Zipcar flag.

Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar, says that the short-term benefit of the acquisition is the instant growth, with now more than 400,000 members that stand to benefit from more cars, more convenience and enhanced technology. Streetcar members will have access to Zipcar’s global network of vehicles located in cities in the United States and Canada. Long-term, he adds, the transaction will help Zipcar expand to additional European markets.

Streetcar founders and execs Andrew Valentine and Brett Akker, who got the idea of starting the company after reading about the concept in a US magazine back in 2003, will retain their leadership positions with Zipcar.

In the coming months, the companies will begin the process of transitioning the Streetcar brand, parking locations, technology and operations to the Zipcar brand and platform, and will be communicating directly with members, partners and other groups on developments that impact them.