The future of more than 200 workers in Coventry hangs in the balance after Lex Transfleet yesterday announced its commercial vehicle division had been bought by rival Fraikin.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see 457 staff from RAC-owned fleet management firm Lex Transfleet move over to the goods vehicle hire company.
This will include 235 in Coventry and staff from 15 rental centres and six maintenance operations across the UK. French-owned Fraikin will also get Lex Transfleet's Coventry site as part of the deal.
Fraikin UK managing director John Ball said the company would set up a special team to implement an "100-day integration plan" within which time employees would learn the fate of their jobs.
"We aim to minimise the period of uncertainty for employees, and I have asked our integration team to give me their recommendations as swiftly as possible," he said.
"However, whenever there is major corporate activity of this type, there are, inevitably, overhead savings. In a sense, part of the logic of the deal is to ensure that we benefit from these. This is about building a company for the long term and delivering enhanced value for our customers."
Mr Ball said the rationale behind the acquisition was to provide " a platform for growth" which would require "the retention and recruitment of highly motivated and capable staff".
Lex Transfleet will cease to trade, with remaining subsidiaries - including air-side vehicle assistant and defence - forming a new company called Lex Vehicle Solutions.
The small number of Coventry staff that are not transferring to Fraikin - mainly ex-board members and backoffice workers - will be moved to a new site and will not face redundancy.
Although the new location is not yet confirmed, the RAC said it was looking at other Lex-owned sites in the city.
All staff were briefed on the changeover yesterday.
" Senior managers will attend briefing sessions with Fraikin directors over the next two to three days, and customers will be briefed personally," Fraikin said in a statement.
Fraikin - which has a UK base in Langley, Berkshire - is owned by French investment firm Eurazeo, and collectively operates 34,000 commercial vehicles across Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Spain and the UK.