Fleet News

Leasing takeover frenzy for 2000?

SPECULATION is mounting that the new millennium will begin with a spate of takeovers in the UK contract hire and leasing industry. VELO has been bought and it is understood that at least five companies are 'actively being sold'.

And it is also believed that a number of smaller companies are also for sale. The managing director of one major UK contract hire and leasing company told Fleet NewsNet this week: 'In the first three months of next year I will be astounded if you are not reporting on 10 contract hire companies being sold.'

The prospect of a shake-up has emerged as the on-going residual value crisis means sale prices of companies will be significantly less than two or three years ago. It is expected that the deals will include a number of small dealer-owned companies. Dealerships are under pressure from parent companies to raise cash to invest in developing their outlets and the cash could be raised by disposing of their contract hire and leasing operations.

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