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Extended: HBOS is biggest force in market

HBOS has become the biggest force in the UK contract hire and leasing industry with the announcement it is to acquire the controlling stake in Lex Vehicle Leasing (LVL) from Aviva for £226.8m.

HBOS already holds 50% of LVL, which it obtained through its joint venture with RAC in 1998. The opportunity to take full control was triggered by Aviva’s acquisition of RAC in 2005. Completion of the deal took place this week.

Lindsay Town, managing director of Asset and Motor Finance at HBOS says: “This acquisition gives us the opportunity to bring together Lex with our existing business – Bank of Scotland Vehicles Finance – into one combined operation.”

The company says there are currently no definitive answers to the question of margins and profits for dealers.

HBOS will create the UK’s largest vehicle leasing concern with 250,000 vehicles under contract.

Assuming a three-year renewal cycle, 80,000 vehicles from the 250,000 strong parc will be changed each year, giving HBOS 4% total market share and a huge amount of influence with carmakers.

Jon Walden, currently managing director of Lex, has been appointed to lead the new enlarged business. He reports to Lindsay Town and will be responsible for combining the two businesses over the coming months.

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