Top ten UK leasing firm Zenith is reportedly being primed for a £700m sale, with The Sunday Times claiming that advisory firm Evercore has been appointed to examine the options available to owner Hg Capital.

Private equity company Hg acquired Zenith and fellow lease company Leasedrive in the space of a month around the beginning of 2014, merging them into Zenith Leasedrive before dropping the latter’s branding early this year.  

Zenith was acquired for an undisclosed sum from Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity in January 2014, a month after Hg acquired Leasedrive. The combined company sits at number seven in the UK leasing marketplace, with 54,248 on its books, as listed in last year’s BusinessCar BC50 rundown of the top 50 leasing firms. Although that number was a reduction of over 3000 on 2014, it makes Zenith the largest of the medium-sized firms, just head of the likes of Arnold Clark and Hitachi but needing to double in size to catch Arval or VW Financial Services ahead of it.

The Sunday Times reported that an auction could start later this year, but the process is likely to drag well into 2017, with another private equity firm speculated to be the most likely destination. The newspaper also said Hg may yet decide to retain ownership.

A spokesman for Hg declined to comment.