ING has confirmed that it is in talks to sell its Car Lease division in a deal reported to be worth £3.5 billion.
In a statement the Dutch bank confirmed the sale of its vehicle leasing unit was a possible option and said it was “reviewing strategic alternatives” for the division. However, a spokesperson stressed that negotiations “may or may not” lead to a deal.
ING Car Lease is ranked number eight in the FN50 with a fleet size of 47,615.
Potential suitors include GE Capital, which is keen to acquire after losing out for Masterlease at the end of last year, LeasePlan and Arval.
GE Capital is also believed to be in advanced discussions with Royal Bank of Scotland for Lombard Vehicle Management.
Fleet News first reported that Lombard, No3 in the FN50 with a fleet size of 80,000 vehicles, was up for sale more than a year ago, but Sky News recently claimed a deal with GE was close to being finalised. If so, that probably puts GE out of the running for ING Car Lease.
BMW Financial Services’ Alphabet has also been named by some media sources as an interested party for ING Car Lease. However, while the company is keen to expand, it is believed to be more focused on organic growth rather than acquisition.
ING’s statement said: “ING continuously evaluates and optimises its business portfolio, in line with ING's stated Back to Basics objectives of sharpening its focus and reducing complexity.
“Within this context, ING today confirmed that it is currently reviewing strategic alternatives for ING Car Lease, including discussions with third parties interested in a potential acquisition.
“These deliberations may or may not lead to a transaction. Any further announcement on this matter will be made if and when appropriate.”
ING Car Lease is a subsidiary of ING Lease Holding (part of the ING Group) which operates in nine countries across Europe managing 235,000 vehicles.