TDR-Led Investor Group Weighs $10 Billion LeasePlan Exit

LeasePlan’s private equity owners are exploring an exit after receiving approaches from strategic investors, according to people familiar with the matter, more than two years after abandoning plans to list the European vehicle leasing giant.

A consortium led by TDR Capital is considering options ranging from a partial to full sale of Netherlands-based LeasePlan, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. A deal could value the business at $10 billion or more, though details of the potential divestment could change, the people said.

LeasePlan may attract interest from suitors in the automotive, technology or financial industries, the people said. A potential sale of the company, one of the world’s largest leasing firms, comes at a time of rising interest in mobility services. A new generation of city dwellers eschewing traditional vehicle ownership has led to the rise of ride-hailing apps, car-sharing platforms and other innovations.

The potential transaction could rank as one of the biggest European private-equity divestments this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. LeasePlan, which offers personal car leases and oversees corporate fleets, manages about 1.9 million vehicles in 32 countries and competes with the likes of Societe Generale SA’s ALD SA unit.

LeasePlan also sells used cars in Europe through its CarNext.com brand and operates an online savings bank in Germany and the Netherlands. It reported revenue of 9.85 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in 2020, according to results published last month. LeasePlan’s shareholders were seeking a valuation of around 7.5 billion euros from an aborted initial public offering in 2018.

Deliberations on potential exit options are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for TDR and LeasePlan declined to comment.

A consortium including TDR agreed to buy LeasePlan for 3.7 billion euros in 2015. Other members of the investor group included the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, an arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Dutch and Danish pension funds.

TDR is having a busy start to the year. It agreed this week to acquire Aggreko Plc, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of portable power generators, together with I Squared Capital for 2.3 billion pounds ($3.2 billion). Last month, the private equity firm completed its purchase of a controlling stake in Walmart Inc.’s U.K. grocery arm Asda alongside Britain’s Issa brothers.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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