The ALD Automotive Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Société Générale with headquarters in Paris, has reached an agreement with Heartland Financial USA, Inc., to purchase 100 percent of ULTEA, Inc.’s stock.

Heartland Financial USA sold ULTEA to ALD Automotive to focus on its core banking and consumer finance line of business.

Founded in 1996 by President/CEO Keith Kreps, ULTEA is a mid-sized fleet management company headquartered in Madison, Wis. ULTEA, with clients that include Dunham Express and Hyatt Hotels, has approximately 4,200 vehicles in its portfolio, making it the 14th largest fleet management company in the U.S. ULTEA will maintain its U.S. headquarters in Madison and be renamed ALD Automotive USA. Kreps will lead the U.S. subsidiary as CEO.

ULTEA Now a Global Partner
ALD Automotive is the operational leasing and fleet management business line of the Société Générale Group. ALD Automotive operates in 35 countries and employs 3,500 globally. ALD Automotive ( is one of the largest international providers of fleet management services. As of September 2006, it managed more than 650,300 vehicles. Société Générale, one of the largest financial services groups in the Euro-Zone, employs more than 103,000 people worldwide in three key businesses: retail banking and financial services, global investment management and services, and corporate and investment banking.

Its sale to ALD Automotive will enable ULTEA to become a global fleet management partner to its current and future client base, with national presence and the opportunity for continued growth and technology enhancements. “ALD has chosen ULTEA as a platform to launch its operations in the U.S,” said Kreps.

Creating Commercial Synergies
The ULTEA acquisition is in line with ALD Automotive’s strategy to establish itself as a worldwide company, offering operational leasing and fleet management solutions around the globe.

“American clients of ALD Automotive will benefit from ULTEA’s services in the U.S., strengthening the overall relationship and enabling us to quickly develop commercial synergies with our new subsidiary,” said Jean-Claude Renaud, chief executive officer of ALD International. “I am very confident in developing commercial synergies between ULTEA and the rest of the group since many international customers of ALD Automotive are American companies,” added Renaud. “Having a U.S. presence will unquestionably strengthen our relationship with them. Many European customers are looking for a fleet management partner in the U.S. and ALD Automotive will be fully able to help them from now on.”

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