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Constellation Automotive owner TDR Capital agrees £4.1bn LeasePlan sale

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Constellation Automotive’s private equity fund owner TDR Capital is set to dispose of its LeasePlan vehicle leasing business after securing a €4.9 billion (£4.1bn) sale.

Leasing company ALD, which is owned by French bank Societe Generale, has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 100% of LeasePlan from a consortium led by TDR Capital in a move set to result in the creations of a new business called New ALD.

The move comes at a time when TDR Capital appeared to be widening its influence in Europe’s automotive sector, with the expansion of Constellation’s cinch online car retail platform, the acquisition of CarNext and the multi-million pound acquisition offer for the AM100 PLC Marshall Motor Group.

LeasePlan is one of the world's largest leasing companies, with around 1.9 million vehicles in more than 30 countries.

AM’s sister title, Fleet News, reported this morning that LeasePlan is currently ranked as the UK’s fourth largest leasing company, according to FN50 2021, with a risk fleet of more than 177,000 cars and vans.

ALD Automotive operates in 43 countries, with a similar sized global vehicle parc to LeasePlan. It was ranked fifth in FN50 2021, with a risk fleet of more than 145,000 cars and vans.

The combined risk fleet of NewALD in the UK would make it the largest leasing company, with more than 300,000 vehicles, replacing Lex Autolease at the top of the FN50, Fleet News said. 

Tim Albertsen, chief executive officer at ALD, who will become become CEO of NewALD, said: “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in our history as a first step towards creating NewALD.

“In the context of today’s transformation of the automotive and mobility sectors, which is proceeding at an unprecedented pace, this proposed transaction is instrumental in the creation of a leading global player in mobility.

“By combining the multiple strengths of ALD and LeasePlan, gaining size, joining forces in digital and creating a leading provider of sustainable mobility solutions, we would transform our industry and be best positioned to deliver even better solutions and value propositions to our enlarged client base.

“This transaction would create multiple opportunities to the joint management teams and talents of both companies, across geographies, underpin our focus on sustainability with a clear path to zero emissions mobility and not least deliver strong shareholder returns over the cycles.

“We are all very excited about the prospect of being part of this new venture.”

Back in October last year Constellation Automotive claimed to have reached “unmatched scale” in automotive retail after expanding its car sales operations into Europe with the acquisition of CarNext.

Constellation said that the acquisition of the online sales and remarketing operator would add to its existing BCA auctions and cinch online retail businesses to create Europe’s largest digital used car marketplace, selling over 2.5 million cars annually – worth a combined €21bn (£17.8bn).

The addition of CarNext, which also operates a number of physical car retail locations across Europe, also expands the business into 22 European countries.

Avril Palmer-Baunack, Constellation’s executive chairman, said: “CarNext was one of the first companies in Europe to digitize the consumer used car buying experience and we are looking forward to combining the scale of our respective marketplaces to lead the digital transformation of the used car market across Europe.”

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