Fleet News

Highway on market for second time in two years

UK top 20 contract hire company Highway Vehicle Management is up for sale for the second time in two years. Two options face the Berkshire-based subsidiary of Great Universal Stores, which runs a fleet of almost 20,000 company cars and vans.

The first is a sale as part of GUS's potential disposal of its £1.2 billion finance division. The second would see GUS securitise its debts - effectively sell the debts to an outside party - but keep Highway within the group.

GUS bought Highway in January 1997 for a price believed to be about £115 million, and has since acquired Argos and Experian in billion pound takeovers. These have refocused GUS's business away from finance and towards retail and information services.

Highway Vehicle Management joins Arriva Automotive Solutions, which operates almost 80,000 vehicles, as being officially up for sale as the contract hire and leasing industry continues to consolidate. It is understood three companies - the Halifax, GE Capital Fleet Services and an unknown foreign bank - are leading the chase to buy Arriva.

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