Fleet News

ACL buys Autolease in £83.2 million mega-deal

ACL has leapt into the UK's contract hire superleague with the £83.2 million acquisition of Birmingham-based Autolease. The mega-deal adds 23,000 vehicles to ACL's 25,000-strong fleet, making the combined business the fifth largest leasing and fleet management company in the UK.

It is the second major acquisition made by Chartered Trust-owned ACL in the past two months, after the company purchased Motorent in July. Paul Blake, managing director of ACL, said: 'This acquisition clearly supports our strategy of developing ACL into a major player. We are now well placed to service the full range of corporate clients with small, medium or large fleets.'

Strategically he sees the market consolidating between large and niche players, and was concerned that ACL might be left behind by the leading superleague. Buying Motorent and Autolease has solved this problem, and the company is no longer actively seeking acquisitions. Autolease will retain its own offices, management team and personnel, but its Dutch sister company Britax Autolease BV has been sold to a company in the Netherlands. Autolease made pre-tax profits of £6.7 million for the year to December 31, 1997, and had net assets at that date of £5.3 million.

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