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Car leasing company LeasePlan plans Euronext float

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By Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – LeasePlan, one of Europe’s largest car leasing companies with a fleet of 1.8 million vehicles, on Thursday announced its intention to float on the Euronext stock exchange.

Amsterdam-based LeasePlan is expected to fetch a similar valuation as France-based rival ALD, which is slightly smaller on most metrics and had a market capitalisation of 6.4 billion euros (£5.7 billion) at the close of trade on Wednesday.

The Dutch company, owned by a consortium of investors, said that only secondary shares would be on offer, with the listing likely to follow weeks after the publication of its prospectus.

It did not, however, specify a timeframe for the proposed listing.

The company’s chief executive officer, Tex Gunning, said in a statement that LeasePlan is the biggest player in leasing new cars “as a service” and is now expanding to “the large, fragmented and inefficient market for high-quality three-to-four-year-old used cars.”

Gunning, a familiar figure on Dutch financial markets, earlier led express delivery company TNT Express and staffing firm Vedior when they were acquired by FedEx and Randstad, respectively.

In a statement, the company called an IPO a “a logical next step in the development of LeasePlan and that the timing of the offering is appropriate given LeasePlan’s current profile and level of maturity.”

It said the listing would raise its profile, add financing flexibility and “provide liquidity for existing shareholders.”

LeasePlan was purchased in 2015 for 3.7 billion euros by a consortium led by pension fund manager PGGM, along with Denmark’s TDR Capital, sovereign wealth fund GIC, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Goldman Sachs.

Leaseplan on Thursday reported an underlying first-half 2018 profit of 298.6 million euros ($342.6 million), up from 291.7 million euros in the same period a year ago. Sales rose to 4.80 billion euros from 4.70 billion euros in the first half of 2017.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Sunil Nair)