According to an April 22, 2021 report from Bloomberg News, TDR Capital, the private equity owner of LeasePlan, is drawing interest from ALD SA and Banco Santander SA as it pursues a sale of the European vehicle leasing giant, according to people familiar with the matter.
A consortium including TDR, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and an arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to buy LeasePlan for 3.7 billion euros in 2015. Acording to Bloomberg, LeasePlan’s shareholders were seeking a valuation of around 7.5 billion euros from an aborted initial public offering in 2018.
ALD, majority owned by Societe Generale SA, has been holding talks about a potential merger with LeasePlan, unidentified people said in the Bloomberg News report. Santander, a banking group headquartered in Spain, is among other potential suitors evaluating the business, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information, according to the Bloomberg News report..
According to Bloomberg, it is still uncertain whether ALD or Santander will proceed with formal offers, the people said, who were the sources for the Bloomberg report. Bloomberg said representatives for LeasePlan, Santander, Societe Generale and TDR declined to comment to it, while a spokesperson for ALD didn’t provide any immediate comment.
LeasePlan could be valued at more than $10 billion in a deal, potentially making it one of the biggest European private equity divestments this year, Bloomberg News reported in March 2021.
Bloomberg also reported that TDR has been exploring options for the business since receiving approaches from strategic investors. IIn the same article, Bloomberg said LeaePlan is also considering a carveout of the LeasePlan’s used-car platform CarNext.com, according to one person familiar with the matter.
LeasePlan manages about 1.9 million vehicles in 32 countries. It generated revenue of 9.85 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in 2020, according to Bloomberg.
A merger between LeasePlan and ALD, which manages more than 1.5 million vehicles across 43 countries, could create a European vehicle leasing powerhouse. For Societe Generale, it would would represent one of the French bank’s biggest bets in auto leasing since it began expanding into the market in the early 2000s.
Societe Generale has grown ALD in part through acquisitions and took the business public in 2017. ALD’s shares have risen about 70% over the last year, giving it a market value of 5.1 billion euros., according to Bloomberg.