Fleet News

Insider denies 'Lex Autolease for sale' claims

A well placed source at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has robustly dismissed a Bloomberg story speculating that the banking giant intends to sell its Lex Autolease contract hire division.

He told Fleet News that LGB has “no intention to sell the business,” adding: “There is no process in place and there has been no approach to the bank to do a deal.”
Bloomberg reported on February 18 that LGB was considering selling Lex Autolease next year for more than £1 billion.

The article, based on a conversation with someone with alleged “direct knowledge of the talks”, according to Bloomberg, said: “Lloyds is considering a sale of the unit next year after it completes the merger of Lloyds TSB Autolease and Lex, which the bank acquired through its 2009 purchase of HBOS Plc.”

However, Fleet News’s source said the article was “without foundation”. He also questioned the figures quoted, claiming the funding requirement alone for the business would be £3 billion.

Although it was impossible to rule out a future sale, he said there would be no talks until integration was complete and the capital markets freed up. But, he stressed: “We are not in talks now.”

Integration of the Lex and Autolease operations is likely to continue for another year. The business manages just under 340,000 vehicles and handles accounts for almost 30,000 company fleets.

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