LeasePlan has revealed that it is holding discussions with ALD Automotive and Société Générale regarding a potential merger between the two firms.

While both companies have confirmed the talks, a joint statement from LeasePlan & ALD read: “There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction. Further announcements will be made when appropriate according to applicable laws.”

Both companies have been active in the market recently, with ALD recently acquiring Fleetpool in Germany, while LeasePlan’s used car market CarNext recently raised €400m in a bid to become Germany’s largest online used marketplace by the end of the year.

LeasePlan currently has approximately 1.8m vehicles under management in 29 countries around the world. The company purchases, funds and manages new vehicles for customers, and is committed to taking a leadership role in the transition to zero-emission mobility and has set itself the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions from its funded fleet by 2030.

ALD has operations in 43 countries globally with 1.7m customer contracts, offering fleet management and long-term vehicle solutions. The company has a target of 2.3m contracts by 2025, and plans to invest €66m in digital capabilities over the next five years.

Any potential transaction would be subject to various conditions precedent, including receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.

LeasePlan recently published its 2021 Car Cost Index, which reveals that compact and mid-size electric vehicles (EVs) are cost competitive with petrol and diesel cars across most European countries.

In the few countries where EVs are not yet cost competitive, the price gap between EV and ICE vehicles has narrowed significantly, according to LeasePlan’s research. It goes on to say that if the trend continues, EVs will likely reach cost competitiveness in every country surveyed, including Eastern European markets such as Romania and Poland, by the mid-2020s.

Tex Gunning, chief executive of LeasePlan, said that the report is a wake up call for policymakers. “Electric cars have finally passed the affordability tipping point and are now cost competitive across Europe, but government action on infrastructure remains woefully inadequate.”