ALD Automotive, a unit of the French financial services group Society Generale, has raised around €1.2bn via a preferential subscription rights issue.

The capital increase marks a significant step to acquire LeasePlan, which is now expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

ALD Automotive issued over 161 million new shares, with a subscription price of €7.5 per share.

ALD CEO Tim Albertsen stated: “I am delighted with the success of our rights issue, which was largely oversubscribed. I would like to thank our existing shareholders for their continued support and welcome new investors in our capital.

“ALD has completed a key step towards the creation of the leading global sustainable mobility player. Both ALD and LeasePlan teams are looking forward to joining forces and generating value for our customers and our shareholders.”

The rights issue comes after ALD received main regulatory approvals and met all expected anti-trust conditions precedent, last month.

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The French bank, which owns a majority stake in ALD, subscribed shares worth approximately €803m, representing around 66.3% of the rights issue.

In January this year, ALD signed a €4.9bn deal to buy 100% of LeasePlan, which is claimed to be one of the world’s leading leasing firms with some 1.9 million vehicles and is active in over 30 countries.

The firm is owned by a consortium led by private equity company TDR Capital.

The proposed merger of ALD and LeasePlan will create NewALD, which is expected to have a combined fleet of 3.5 million vehicles.