Zenith acquired as Hg adds to Leasedrive purchase
23 January 2014
The acquisition of leasing and fleet management firm Zenith by Hg Capital, the new owner of fellow top-15 lease firm Leasedrive, has been confirmed.
Hg has acquired a majority stake holding in the parent company Zenith Vehcile Contracts Group Limited from Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
It has been confirmed that Zenith chairman Andrew Cope will step down, though he retains a financial interest in the group, and Zenith will continue to be led by Tim Buchan and Mark Phillips, with the addition of Hg Capital's Andrew Land, Nick Turner and Simon Cottle,
Hg took over Leasedrive, ranked 15 in BusinessCar's BC50 list of the UK's top leasing companies, in December 2013, and at the time rumours circulated that the private equity group was also looking at Zenith, ranked 13 in the BC50, as another potential target, as the firm looked to build a serious leasing industry presence.
HgCapital's Andrew Land said "We are delighted to be investing in Zenith and to be supporting its high calibre management team. We look forward to working closely with them to continue their growth and success".
Tim Buchan Chief Executive Officer commented "We thank MSPE for their contribution and are pleased to welcome HgCapital as our new partner. We look forward to working together on our long term strategy of continued investment in product and system developments".
It's not clear yet whether Hg plans to bring the two leasing companies together to form a major new leasing power. Combining Zenith's 27,000-vehicle fleet with the 21,000 of Leaseplan would create a new top 10 player at the same level as GE Capital and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.