The acquisition marks a significant expansion of ING’s UK car-leasing operation, and forms part of its strategy to increase its pan-European business operations both through organic growth and selective acquisitions. ING Car Lease acquired the French car leasing operation Autoplan in 2005.
The acquisition will boost ING Car Lease’s UK fleet by 27,000 units to over 43,000 vehicles.
Based on the latest Fleet News FN50 analysis* of the UK’s contract hire firms, 43,000 vehicles would put the expanded firm in 11th place, between DaimlerChrysler Services Fleet Management with 41,539 vehicles and BT Fleet with 44,892.
Appleyard Vehicle Contracts employs 115 staff based in Leeds, who will transfer with the business. The transaction, which has received FSA approval, will be notified to the Irish Competition Authority for clearance and will not be put into effect in Ireland until clearance has been obtained.
Alain Vervaet, CEO of ING Lease Holding, said: “This acquisition is an excellent fit for ING Car Lease in the UK and further reinforces the expansion of our European network. As the European car lease market continues to consolidate, the integration of ING Car Lease and Appleyard Vehicle Contracts in the important UK market will enable ING Car Lease to continue to enhance its position as one of the leading businesses in the pan-European car leasing sector.”
Ian Tilbrook, managing director of ING Car Lease UK said: “Appleyard Vehicle Contracts has considerable expertise and an excellent reputation for providing a high level of service and maintaining long-standing customer relationships. These values complement those of ING Car Lease and we look forward to developing the company to deliver further value to our customers.”
Alan Maude, managing director of Appleyard Vehicle Contracts, said: “We are delighted to be joining ING Car Lease, which will allow our customers to benefit from a pan-European infrastructure. Bringing two companies of similar cultures together is a very exciting prospect, and one which we relish while continuing to maintain the highest levels of service to our customers.”