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Awards 2012 - Leasing and Fleet Management: Alphabet

Date: 24 January 2012

This award was a bit of a surprise in some ways because it sees Alphabet unseat the UK's biggest player, Lex Autolease, which between the recently amalgamated company and its previous Lex Vehicle Leasing and Lloyds TSB Autolease guises had taken the prize in each of the past few years.

But then Alphabet has certainly raised its profile in the past 12 months, most notably with the acquisition of ING Car Lease in a £554m move that will propel the company to becoming the third-largest leasing company in the UK when the deal is finalised, behind the aforementioned Lex Autolease and Leaseplan. ING was placed ninth-largest previously, one place ahead of its new owner.

Alphabet also had a change at the top during 2011, with previous boss Mark Sinclair moving to become director of international operations at Alphabet International, replaced by his predecessor Richard Schooling, who returned as chief executive a few weeks before the ING deal was announced.

The process of merging the two businesses will commence in earnest during 2012, as European competition authorities only rubber-stamped the deal in October. But for now, Alphabet can bask in the glory of taking BusinessCar's Leasing and Fleet Management Award for 2012.