Fleet News

ICA moves into Europe with purchase of French auction firm

ICA (Holdings) has made its first move into Europe with the acquisition of a major French vehicle auction company for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of SEA is the first step in a major European expansion programme which will see further acquisitions and new sites opening in cities throughout France and in other countries across the Continent.

SEA, which has auction sites in Bordeaux, Marseilles and Toulouse, offers cars and vans for vendors including Lease Plan, Dial Contracts, Ford Lease and Europcar. SEA's vendor profile is made up of 40% leasing companies, 30% motor dealerships, 20% trade sellers and 10% motor manufacturers.

The biggest difference with British auctions is in the make-up of the auction buyers, with 90% being private buyers and a mere 10% professional dealers, roughly the opposite of the buyer profile in this country. ICA chief executive John Bailey said: 'We intend to offer a disposal service to our British fleet, manufacturer and dealer customers in as many locations as possible on the European mainland. We now have a foothold in the south of France, which we are looking to expand. Other European locations will follow.'

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