Car leasing firm Zenith sold in £750m deal

HgCapital has sold Leeds-based leasing business Zenith to the private equity firm Bridgepoint in a deal worth £750m.

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Zenith, which offers contract hire, salary sacrifice, fleet management and short-term hire services to customers across the UK, is one of the largest independent vehicle leasing business in the UK.

HgCapital initially invested in Leasedrive in December 2013 before subsequently completing the merger with Zenith in February 2014.

A person close to the transaction said HgCapital has tripled its investment over the three years it owned Zenith, the Financial Times has reported.

Commenting on the sale, Emma Watford, partner at Bridgepoint and head of its business services sector team, said Zenith is already “best-in-class” with a “proven business model that has had an unbroken track record of growth over a long period”.

Zenith, was recently ranked seventh in the FN50 list of the UK’s top 50 contract hire companies and manages 85,000 vehicles.

It has continued to deliver strong double-digit revenue and EBITDA growth over the past year. The contracted nature of its business model means that a significant proportion of future growth is already underpinned by existing customer contracts.

Tim Buchan, CEO at Zenith said: "We thank HgCapital for their contribution and are pleased to welcome Bridgepoint as our new partner.

“We look forward to working together on our long-term strategy of continued investment in new markets, digital transformation, alternative vehicle asset classes, value proposition and platform developments.”

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