Fleet News

Zenith tight-lipped over speculation

Zenith has refused to comment on media speculation that it is about to be sold to HG Capital.

A 60% stake in the top 20 leasing company, which operates a risk fleet of more than 27,000 vehicles, was acquired by Morgan Stanley Private Equity in August 2010.

However, it’s been suggested that the business could be bought by another private equity company. HG Capital, which is poised to become the majority shareholder of Leasedrive Group, has been linked with Zenith.   

The Leasedrive deal is expected to be signed this week after HG Capital sold online trading platform Epyx to the owner of the Allstar fuel card Fleetcor, in a deal worth about £13m.

Leasedrive commercial director Roddy Graham told Fleet News that HG capital want to be a real “powerhouse” in the leasing sector.

The combined risk fleet of Leasedrive and Zenith would equate to more than 48,000 vehicles and put it into the top ten of the FN50’s biggest leasing companies. 

However, Zenith’s commercial director Ian Hughes would not be drawn on whether a deal was in the offing. He told Fleet News: “I’ve no comment to make on industry speculation.”

Morgan Stanley also refused to make any comment.

Zenith recently announced the completion of a significant refinancing of its credit facilities, following a rapid de-leveraging of the business over the last three years.

The transaction expanded the company’s panel of lending partners, bringing Lloyds and ICG alongside long-term funders RBS and HSBC.

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