Crédit Agricole is awaiting the necessary information from the European Commission’s competition authorities in order to receive the green light to acquire the business assets of the companies ALD Automotive and LeasePlan in Norway, Ireland, Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg, with a fleet of more than 100,000 vehicles.
This was stated by Giacomo Carelli, CEO of Crédit Agricole Auto Bank, during the presentation of the finance company in Spain, in response to questions from Fleet People.
«We don’t know exactly when the European authorities will take a decision on the matter, it is a decision that depends on them and is being considered by the departments responsible for this type of operation in Brussels,» said Carelli.
The acquisition of LeasePlan by ALD Automotive, approved at ALD’s last Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting on 23 May, will create a global leasing and mobility giant with 3.5 million vehicles.
In order to consolidate the acquisition, the European Commission has imposed on ALD the condition that it divest its assets in European countries where there could be a commercial collision in terms of competition between ALD and LeasePlan and that they do not exercise a dominant market position.
In this respect, and in a bid in which BNP Paribas, owner of Arval, also entered – unsuccessfully – Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and its subsidiary Crédit Agricole Auto Bank took over the 30 000 fleet vehicles of ALD in Portugal and LeasePlan in Luxembourg, and the 70 000 vehicles of ALD in Norway and Ireland and of LeasePlan in the Czech Republic and Finland, respectively.
It should be noted that the purchase of ALD in Portugal and LeasePlan in Luxembourg is sealed by Leasys and Free2Move, subsidiaries of Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, which is formed as a 50/50 joint venture with Stellantis.
«What is very clear to us is that Crédit Agricole has been selected in this process as the ‘suitable’, and we cannot give a specific date for approval because it depends on Europe,» said Giacomo Carelli when asked by Fleet People.
«In any case, it is a very important operation and we are very happy that this operation can finally be consolidated,» said Carelli.
Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance has a fleet of 828,000 vehicles under management through Free2Move and Leasys and Crédit Agricole Auto Bank 55,000 units through its subsidiary Drivalia.
Its objective is to exceed one million units in the first case, and 200,000 in the second, by 2026.