Volkswagen AG and Bankiers Friedrich von Metzler agreed to sell fleet-management company LeasePlan Corp. for 3.7 billion euros ($4 billion) to a group of investors including TDR Capital LLP.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Dutch and Danish pension funds and a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are also part of the group buying the company, Almere, Netherlands-based LeasePlan said in a statement on Thursday. The deal requires regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of 2015.
With VW expanding its own fleet-management operations, “the time has, in our opinion, now come to hand LeasePlan over to new investors,” VW Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Poetsch said in a separate statement.
LeasePlan, which says it’s the world’s biggest fleet company, employs 6,800 people to manage 1.42 million vehicles in 32 countries for companies such as ABB Ltd. and Randstad Holding NV. Its net income rose 14 percent last year to 372 million euros.
VW and Metzler, a private German bank, each hold 50 percent of LeasePlan through Global Mobility Holding BV. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker acquired its stake in 2004 as part of a 2 billion-euro deal.
The agreement comes three months after talks with buyers were terminated because of regulatory issues. Private equity firm TDR Capital was the front-runner before talks fell apart in April. At the time, LeasePlan said its owners had no plans to further pursue a sale.