A consortium is close to buying LeasePlan Corporation for more than £2 billion from Volkswagen and German banker Friedrich von Metzler, industry insiders have suggested.
It is understood that the consortium is being led by private-equity firm TDR Capital LLP and involves several pension funds, including Dutch firm PGGM.
Fleet News reported yesterday (Wednesday, March 10) that the owners were looking to offload the fleet management and leasing company.
LeasePlan, which leases 1.42 million cars annually and is ranked as the second largest contract hire and leasing company in the UK by the FN50, said that Volkswagen and Metzler, who both hold a 50% stake in the company through Global Mobility Holding BV, are in talks about a potential ‘divestment’.
The Dutch company said the talks “may or may not result in an agreement”, without providing further details.
LeasePlan’s risk fleet in the UK includes 100,575 cars and 39,123 vans, according to last year’s FN50, and in February it reported a global net profit of more than €372 million (£260 million) for 2014.
A consortium led by Volkswagen bought LeasePlan in 2004 from Dutch bank ABN Amro in a deal worth €2 billion (£1.4 billion). Metzler joined in 2009 after acquiring a remaining 50% stake from two co-investors from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
LeasePlan also runs a small Dutch bank and because of its Dutch banking licence, any deal will have to be approved by the Dutch central bank and financial markets authority.