LeasePlan Corporation, one of the world’s car-as-a service companies, announced on June 13 that Wheels Donlen’s parent company, in which Athene is the lead investor, has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with LeasePlan Corporation to acquire LeasePlan USA, and subsequently combine the business with Wheels Donlen to create a unified fleet management business.
This combination creates a strong competitor in mobility, which will allow Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA to provide enhanced solutions to corporate fleets. Benefitting from added scale, materially increased investment capacity, and differentiated capabilities, the combined company will be better positioned to service customers and facilitate growing trends toward electric vehicles and digital technologies. With $246 billion of assets, Athene will be well positioned to provide the combined company with deep capital support for its go-forward businesses to offer clients an enhanced suite of solutions across fleet, last-mile delivery, trucking, and equipment.
According to a press release posted on the Athene website, the cominbation of Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA will accelerate the future of fleet mobility in North America.
“The subscription megatrend and the digital revolution mean the U.S. leasing market is about to enter a period of accelerated growth and transformation,” said LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning. “By joining forces with Wheels Donlen, LeasePlan USA will have the scale and investment firepower necessary to serve its growing customer base and accelerate the future of mobility for American drivers. We are very proud of the business we have built-up in the U.S. and are confident our colleagues will achieve every success as they put full focus on the unique U.S. market.”
Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA have long legacies of best-in-class customer service, with exceptionally strong employees that drive customer success. As this investment aligns with Athene’s long-term investment approach and ethos, there will be a measured approach to integration of the businesses over time, prioritizing seamless and enhanced customer experience with continuity of the systems that customers depend on. Both the management team and Board of Directors will include representatives from Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA. LeasePlan USA CEO Matt Dyer will become a senior executive and board member of the combined company.
Wheels Donlen CEO Shlomo Crandus said: “LeasePlan has built a terrific business in the U.S. that we are excited to integrate with the Wheels Donlen platform, adding complementary capabilities that will provide clients with an even broader suite of mobility solutions. We look forward to working with Matt and welcoming the LeasePlan USA team to the Wheels Donlen family and together we will continue enhancing our best-in-class platform and providing our clients unsurpassed fleet management results.”
Additionally, as part of this transaction, LeasePlan USA and LeasePlan Corporation will enter into a Cooperation Agreement to deliver global fleet management services to both companies’ international clients following the completion of the transaction, ensuring the full availability of the global fleet solutions our clients have come to expect. Likewise, the existing global alliance between Wheels Donlen and ALD will continue.
The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2022, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.