LDC takes over the Leasedrive wheel

British vehicle management group Leasedrive Velo has been sold an £80m secondary deal between vendor Lyceum Capital and buyer LDC.

The Wokingham-based business provides fleet management, contract hire plus short and mid-term vehicle rentals for a host of companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, British American Tobacco, Samsung, and John Lewis Partnership.

The sale by Lyceum ends an investment period which began in 2004 when it acquired a debt only BIMBO of Leasedrive. In January 2007, it was merged with Velo, a UK fleet management business it had acquired in 2003.

Lyceum Partner, Dan Adler, said: “The merger between Leasedrive and Velo at the beginning of January 2007 demonstrated the strength of combining two high quality mid-sized players to create a market leader in a niche sector. Merging companies is never simple as it involves many factors, but having identified the synergies between the two companies, the merger bedded down well.”

Since 2003, the Velo has increased profits fivefold through organic growth, expansion of the range of services and the merger with Leasedrive.

The new owner, LDC, has taken a majority stake, with Royal Bank of Scotland providing debt and asset finance facilities.

Kevan Leggett, managing director of LDC, said: “Leasedrive Velo has built a quality reputation which is a key differentiator in this competitive and growing market. We were particularly attracted to its differing sources of revenues which provide the business with significant downside protection.”