ALD Automotive, a subsidiary of the French bank Society Generale (SocGen), has been given the green light by the European Commission (EC) to acquire one of Europe’s top car leasing companies LeasePlan, the French Journal of Fleets has reported

On 25 November, the EC said the proposed takeover of LeasePlan could go ahead for €4.9bn (£4.1bn), adding that the “authorisation is subject to full compliance with the commitments offered by ALD” to address the EC’s competition concerns.

Because Brussels feared the deal would “significantly reduce” competition in the leasing markets of the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and Portugal, SocGen has agreed to sell activities in these six countries.

The transaction will thus be accompanied by the sale of “ALD’s operational leasing activities in Ireland, Norway and Portugal, as well as LeasePlan’s activities in the Czech Republic, Finland and Luxembourg, with their assets, contracts and their employees,” the Journal reported. 

The acquisition of LeasePlan by ALD could be finalised in the first quarter of 2023. ALD and LeasePlan are understood to have a combined fleet of 3.5 million vehicles.

The Netherlands-based LeasePlan is one of the world’s largest leasing companies with about 1.9 million vehicles and is active in over 30 countries.

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By GlobalData

A consortium led by private equity company TDR Capital owns LeasePlan. The deal may value the company at US$10bn or more, Bloomberg reported. TDR originally acquired LeasePlan for €3.5bn in 2015.

ALD is a fleet management company specialising in long-term vehicle leasing and new mobility. The group is present in 43 countries. 

In the UK, after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation on 20 September into the acquisition of LeasePlan by ALD, the CMA said it had cleared the deal on 8 November. The decision will likely dislodge Lex Autolease as the UK’s top fleet leasing company.

Stellantis on the scene

In April 2022, the Dutch multinational automotive manufacturer Stellantis signed agreements with Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance (CACF), BNP Paribas Personal Finance (BNPP PF) and Santander Consumer Finance (SCF) in a bid to streamline its financial services offering in Europe and North America. 

Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO, said the agreements would double Stellantis’ net banking income by 2030.

As part of the deal, Stellantis and CACF will unite their Leasys and Free2move leasing businesses to create a joint European leasing company with a target fleet of around 1 million vehicles by 2026. 

The joint venture will see Stellantis and CACF each holding a 50% interest in the company. 

The move by Stellantis – itself the product of a 2021 merger between Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group – signals the auto manufacturers’ intention to grow its software-enabled services and subscription offering. 

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