The Leasedrive Group has merged with Velo to form a new largest privately-owned vehicle management group in the UK, with a combined fleet of around 17,500 cars.

The move, which has been worked on behind the scenes since last August, sees a new company formed, called Leasedrive Velo, which has then acquired both Leasedrive and Velo.

The new firm is owned by a combination of Leasedrive’s management and the private equity firm Lyceum Capital that acquired Velo in 2003, the latter taking slightly more than half of the shares.

The new Leasedrive Velo management team comprises three Leasedrive execs – chief executive Roger Partridge, commercial director Roddy Graham and chief financial officer David Bird, along with former Velo chief exec Tony Johnston acting as chief operating officer. The new company claims a 17,500 vehicle book, 9000 of which are risk held, with the rest risk managed.

“The fit between our two companies could not be better,” said Partridge. “Both Leasedrive and Velo share the same core business philosophies of providing blue chip clients with the highest quality bespoke vehicle management service available.”

Commercial director Roddy Graham said the new company isn’t setting volume growth targets. “We’ll grow in a controlled and measured way – we’ll continue our attention to detail and customer focus,” he said. “As long as that happens we’ll continue to grow and be profitable.” Graham said Leasedrive Velo won’t go chasing volume in the way the bigger players do. “If we do that, we’ll be taking our eye off what we stand for – that’s an organisation that’s different.”

Graham also said Leasedrive Velo could be set for further expansion if the right situation presents itself. “If opportunities for further growth occurred, we’d look at them – selective acquisitions or mergers – but only on the basis that it’s the right fit,” he said.

The new firm is likely to be based at Leasedrive’s Wokingham HQ in Berkshire, with Velo being transferred from the current base in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, as the former has both the office space and internet bandwidth. The new company will also use Leasedrive’s operating systems.