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Athene Is Lead Investor in Combination of LeasePlan USA with Wheels Donlen

June 21, 2022, 07:18 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

LeasePlan Corporation announced that Wheels Donlen’s parent company, in which Athene is the lead investor, has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with LeasePlan Corporation to acquire LeasePlan USA, and subsequently combine the business with Wheels Donlen to create a unified fleet management business.

This combination creates a strong competitor in mobility, which will allow Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA to provide enhanced solutions to corporate fleets. Benefitting from added scale, materially increased investment capacity, and differentiated capabilities, the combined company will be better positioned to service customers and facilitate growing trends towards electric vehicles and digital technologies. With $246 billion of assets, Athene will be well-positioned to provide the combined company with deep capital support for its go-forward businesses to offer clients an enhanced suite of solutions across fleet, last-mile delivery, trucking, and equipment.

Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA have long legacies of best-in-class customer service, with exceptionally strong employees that drive customer success. As this investment aligns with Athene’s long-term investment approach and ethos, there will be a measured approach to integration of the businesses over time, prioritizing seamless and enhanced customer experience with continuity of the systems that customers depend on. Both the management team and Board of Directors will include representatives from Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA. LeasePlan USA CEO Matt Dyer will become a senior executive and board member of the combined company.

Additionally, as part of this transaction, LeasePlan USA and LeasePlan Corporation will enter into a Cooperation Agreement to deliver global fleet management services to both companies’ international clients following the completion of the transaction, ensuring the full availability of the global fleet solutions our clients have come to expect. Likewise, the existing global alliance between Wheels Donlen and ALD will continue.

The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2022, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.

Two Dynamic Companies Combine to Accelerate the Future of Fleet Mobility in NA

LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning said, “The subscription megatrend and the digital revolution mean the U.S. leasing market is about to enter a period of accelerated growth and transformation. By joining forces with Wheels Donlen, LeasePlan USA will have the scale and investment firepower necessary to serve its growing customer base and accelerate the future of mobility for American drivers. We are very proud of the business we have built-up in the US and are confident our colleagues will achieve every success as they put full focus on the unique US market.”

Wheels Donlen CEO Shlomo Crandus said, “LeasePlan has built a terrific business in the US that we are excited to integrate with the Wheels Donlen platform, adding complementary capabilities that will provide clients with an even broader suite of mobility solutions. We look forward to working with Matt and welcoming the LeasePlan USA team to the Wheels Donlen family and together we will continue enhancing our best-in-class platform and providing our clients unsurpassed fleet management results.”

LeasePlan USA President and CEO Dyer said, LeasePlan USA is a growing force in the US market and now, as part of Wheels Donlen, we have the opportunity to expand our mobility platform. We are very excited about the future with a strong and diversified business that is poised for further growth in fleet management, leasing and financing for corporate fleets, last-mile delivery, trucks, as well as equipment and material handling. In addition, thanks to our Cooperation Agreement with LeasePlan, customers with fleets outside the US will continue to access the high-quality international fleet management services they have come to expect. I’m proud of our employees who have worked so diligently to build the business we have today and who will help us reach our next stage of development in partnership with Wheels Donlen.”

Long-Term Platform Investment for Athene

Jim Belardi, CEO of Athene, said, “For Athene, this transaction follows our longstanding strategy to invest in businesses with strong fundamentals, underwriting and direct origination capabilities. We have high conviction in the growing mobility market and the leading role that the combined Wheels Donlen-LeasePlan USA can play in serving companies’ fast-evolving fleet needs. We are confident their strong business fundamentals and focus on sustainability and innovation will benefit their customers and Athene’s investors alike.”

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