Societe Generale, parent firm of ALD Automotive, has announced it’s in exclusive talks to acquire the shares of French long-term vehicle leasing company Parcours Group for €300m.
Founded in 1989 by Jérôme Martin, Parcours Group is majority-owned by Wendel and also operates in Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal.
Its total fleet stands at 61,500 vehicles – of which 55,000 are in France – as of the end of 2015. In 2015, Parcours Group generated consolidated turnover of around €370m.
Parcours said the transaction would give it the industry and financial support it needs to step up its growth and development in France and abroad. Parcours would strengthen its position in European markets (France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg) and the combination of the two companies' expertise would enable them to offer a more complete range of services to their customers (long- and medium- term leasing, private leasing). Finally, Parcours could benefit from the financial resources of ALD Automotive to increase its fleet financing capacity and hence its business development.
Frédéric Lemoine, chairman of Wendel's Executive Board, said: “The business and financial characteristics of ALD Automotive’s bid open promising new prospects for Parcours and its business development teams within the Société Générale group. Jérôme Martin is one of the most renowned French entrepreneurs of the last 25 years. We are proud to have taken part with him in the growth of this long-term leasing champion. After advancing to new stages of growth and internationalization with Wendel, Parcours will have the opportunity through this transaction to pursue its growth and development with a major, internationally-recognized French company as its industry partner.”
ALD added that the acquisition is in line with its development strategy and would enable it to strengthen its position with SMEs and very small companies in France and to accelerate its growth in the long-term leasing business. The leasing giant had a global fleet of 1.207 million vehicles (including 360,000 in France) at the end of 2015.
Mike Masterson, CEO of ALD International, said: “This acquisition would be an important step in ALD Automotive’s strategy, where our ambition is to have the best range of mobility solutions in the long- term leasing business. The cornerstone of this ambition is to continuously adapt our offering to meet the evolving needs of our clients. This operation would allow us to enhance our setup while leveraging on Parcours Group’s profitable and innovative business model.”
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016, provided the necessary regulatory approvals are received.