Fleet News

Hitachi buys bulk of NVR operation

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions has bought the bulk of the business and assets of Newtown Vehicle Rentals (NVR) after it went into administration.

Administrators from Deloitte, Dominic Wong and Matt Cowlishaw, were appointed last Thursday (December 2) to the FN50 company.

NVR, which has a fleet of around 7,000 vehicles and was funded by 25 different lenders, had been attempting to restructure the business over the last 21 months.

But after failing to secure its future, the administrators were called in and 98 of NVR’s 131 employees left the business on agreed terms, prior to the sale.

Meanwhile, 33 employees have taken up new contracts with Hitachi Capital.

NVR’s administration came only 24 hours after Leaseway Vehicle Rental, another FN50 company, entered administration, blaming tough trading conditions.

John Lewis, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said: “I think the events of recent weeks have shown that some smaller operators who have relied on a simplified, cost-based product offering have struggled to compete with larger operators, who have greater economies of scale and the ability to invest in value-added services such as fleet management.”

Wong, who is in charge of Deloitte’s reorganisation services team in the Midlands, said: “NVR has historically been a profitable and growing business with robust revenues and a high quality customer base. However, the limited funding available in the recent economic environment for new and replacement vehicles caused the fleet to age, incurring greater maintenance costs which impacted on both profitability and cash flow.”

Wong added: “The sale represents a significantly better outcome for all stakeholders than if the business had been forced to close.”

Jon Lawes, managing director of Hitachi Capital’s commercial vehicle division, led the acquisition team from Hitachi.
“With recent announcements of similar companies closing, being able to use our Hitachi backing to achieve a different outcome for NVR’s customers and staff is a good result,” said Lawes.

Simon Oliphant, chief executive officer, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, added: “Our focus for the next few weeks will be ensuring that customers experience minimal disruption and the retained staff are absolutely committed to achieving this.”


 


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