Leasedrive Velo, which sits at number 20 in the FN50 list of the country’s top leasing companies, has been bought by its senior management team in a £80m deal.
A new company has been formed, Leasedrive Velo Group, which will manage the 17,800 vehicles currently on its books.
The senior management team remains the same with Roger Partridge as chief executive officer, Roddy Graham as commercial director, and David Bird as chief operating officer.
The buyout deal from Lyceum Capital was backed by Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), which now has a majority 52% stake in the business.
Lyceum Capital, the private equity company that originally acquired Velo in 2003 and which became the majority stakeholder following the merger of Leasedrive with Velo at the beginning of 2007, has been keen to sell its interest for some time.
“The merger between Leasedrive and Velo demonstrated the strength of combining two high-quality mid-sized players to create a market leader,” said Lyceum partner, Dan Adler.
“Now the company has consolidated and established its market position, it is time for it to move to the next stage of growth with another investor.”
Mr Adler said since Lyceum’s initial investment, the group has increased profits fivefold.
“It’s logical to sell when a business is highly profitable to get the best price,” he said. “We’ve done well out of this.”
The new Leasedrive Velo Group, which has PricewaterhouseCoopers, British American Tobacco, Samsung, T-Mobile, John Lewis Partnership and Eli Lilly among its clients, said its focus will be on “driving further growth in the contract hire and fleet management services division of the company, as well as continuing the expansion of the significant short and mid-term rental business”.
It plans for the company’s current £62m turnover to increase by over a third during the next two years.
"This gives us significant financial firepower going forward," Mr Graham told Fleet News. "There are a lot of opportunities out there - there is a changing landscape in our industry."
However, Mr Graham said there are no acquisitions on the immediate horizon. "We would certainly consider acquisitions if they came along," he said.
"But there are none of the horizon."
Kevan Leggett, managing director of LDC, said: “Leasedrive Velo has built a quality reputation which is a key differentiator in this competitive and growing market. We were particularly attracted to its differing sources of revenues which provide the business with significant downside protection.
“We’re backing the outstanding management team that is responsible for this and which has already demonstrated its ability to build shareholder value by successfully delivering on two transactions, including a complex merger.”