Alphabet, the fleet management division of BMW Group, has bought ING Car Lease for 637 million Euros.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.
ING Car Lease was eighth in the FN50’s list of the UK’s top 50 contract hire companies, with a risk fleet of 47,615 vehicles, while Alphabet was ninth with 47,176 vehicles. A combined operation would put it at number three in the FN50 with 94,791 vehicles.
“In the growing European fleet management market, ING Car Lease is the perfect fit to complement the activities of Alphabet. Alphabet will increase the number of company car contracts under management to approximately 540,000 and thus consolidate its competitive lead in the European fleet management market,” said Norbert van den Eijnden, head of Alphabet.
Through the acquisition, Alphabet is now able to provide its corporate customers with broadened services now in 16 European countries.
The strengthening of the fleet management business is in line with the BMW Group Strategy to be the leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.
“Alphabet is concentrating on the growing full-service fleet management sector and is developing products and services for sustainable and efficient corporate mobility management. Alphabet already assists our corporate customers to manage a sustainable fleet with a focus on low fuel consumption. Fleet management will also support the introduction of electric vehicles,” continued van den Eijnden.
Fleet News reported this week how ING was looking to sell its car leasing division and how RBS was also keen to offload Lombard. This deal could now leave the way open for GE Capital to acquire Lombard.
In a recent interview with Fleet News, Alphabet's GB chief executive Richard Schooling outlined his aspirations for growth, primarily via organic methods - business wins and increased penetration with existing customers.
"We want to be number five in the FN50 and that requires a fleet of around 60,000 vehicles," Schooling said. "We've set 2015 to get to that size."
The acquisition of ING clearly shatters those original ambitions and now raises the possibility of Alphabet contesting for the number two spot in the FN50 with LeasePlan.