LeasePlan sold to consortium of investors for €3.7bn
Through the joint venture, Volkswagen and Fleet Investments BV, an investment company of the German banker Friedrich von Metzler, each held an indirect stake of 50% in LeasePlan.
"Since Volkswagen acquired its stake in LeasePlan in 2004, the investment has developed positively. This development is reflected in the attractive offer received from the investors," said Hans Dieter Pötsch, CFO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. "With the expansion of our own fleet management activities at Volkswagen Financial Services, the time has, in our opinion, now come to hand LeasePlan over to new investors," Mr Pötsch added.
The consortium is composed of a group of long-term responsible investors and includes leading Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM, Denmark’s largest pension fund ATP, GIC, Luxinva SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP.
LeasePlan said the consortium supports its existing long-term strategy and growth ambitions and recognises the expertise of its workforce as a key asset for successfully executing this strategy.
Eric-Jan Vink of PGGM, on behalf of the consortium, said: “As market leader in the global fleet management business, LeasePlan offers an attractive long-term investment opportunity. We are investing in the future of a company with an unmatched portfolio of market-leading assets, a highly knowledgeable and dedicated employee base and a sound strategy for the future, under highly experienced management. The Consortium looks forward to supporting the management team as they focus on growing the business.”
LeasePlan added that it would continue its drive for the delivery of high-quality fleet management and driver mobility services for its clients.
Vahid Daemi, CEO and chairman of the managing board of LeasePlan, said: “Established in 1963, we have grown to become the world’s leading global fleet management and driver mobility company. Today, our global franchise manages some 1.5 million multi-brand vehicles and provides global fleet management and driver mobility services in 32 countries. The change of ownership announced today marks a new era for our company and will enable LeasePlan to continue our successful journey and focus on executing our long-term strategy and growth ambitions. We remain fully committed to providing high quality and innovative fleet management and driver mobility services to our clients worldwide.”
According to Reuters, as VW has its own in-house leasing business, VW Leasing GmbH, it had become harder to justify the 50% stake it has had in LeasePlan since 2004, with the disposal fitting in with its plans for cost cuts and a refocusing of the group.
Commenting on the news, Matt Dyer, LeasePlan UK managing director, said: "I would like to repeat what is said in the press release in my own words: this is an exciting development for LeasePlan. One that allows us to continue our growth strategy with our customers at the heart of our business. This a consortium of longtterm orientated investors who recognise the strengths of LeasePlan as a business and our long term strategy. We look forward to this new era for LeasePlan."
Subject to approval by the competent regulatory and anti-trust authorities, the closing of the transaction is expected by the end of this year.