Volkswagen is being put forward as an industry favourite to purchase international leasing and fleet management company LeasePlan.
Talks to buy the leasing operations of Dutch financial services giant ABN AMRO are said to be at an early stage, although city analysts have already put a price of nearly £600m on the deal.
ABN AMRO, with more than one million vehicles under management, including Britain's largest leasing company, LeasePlan, has made clear that its global leasing operations are not core to its business.
Volkswagen and ABN AMRO are refusing to comment on the claims, but the move would give Volkswagen a claim to be one of the largest fleet management companies in the world.
Industry sources had also put forward GE Capital Fleet Services as a potential buyer, although some are claiming the firm may have backed away from the bid.
GE Capital Fleet Services was tipped as a bidder for ABN AMRO's leasing operations in June, when it was revealed that senior executives from both GECFS and LeasePlan had met to explore potential integration. (September 13, 2001)