Q&A: Arval managing director Benoit Dilly
What does the acquisition bring to Arval’s proposition?
What we are putting together are two companies, both in good shape, and what we get from GE is a focus on the mid-corporate fleets, whereas Arval is much further spread from SME to large corporate. So it’s a good fit in terms of portfolio.
In terms of product both entities do contract hire, mid-term rental, insurance, salary sacrifice, consulting, so it’s the best of the two worlds. It’s a case of spending the time we need taking on board all the experience GE has.
What should customers expect?
One of our priorities is that we want to ensure continuity for GE employees and customers. In the coming months they shouldn’t expect massive changes. Instead we will be focusing on integration and transition, the additional benefits the deal brings and ensuring relationship management is unaffected.
What we’re buying is a very valuable portfolio of customer that broadly looks like it has been well-managed. We’ve got an office in Manchester where GE employees are based, and there is no rush to move anything to Swindon with Arval.
Are there further plans for expansion?
There is an ambitious growth plan, but if there are more acquisitions to come, I have no idea. Keep in mind that Arval has grown 30,000 units in the last 26 months alone. We are able to do organic growth and acquisition, and we work hard, so we’re growing on both sides of the business: SME and large corporates, where we have relaunched our offering and won some good deals.
The GE business we bought in the UK has 28,000 units, and put together with Arval’s current strength of 117,000, gives altogether 145,000, putting us up there with LeasePlan and Alphabet in a group of three behind Lex.