Tim Buchan
Tim Buchan, ceo of Zenith - now working with new owners
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WE’D heard rumours over a month ago that a leasing company was up for sale – and it appears the subject of those rumours could be Zenith.

According to The Sunday Times  newspaper, current private equity owners HgCapital have put the business up for sale for a reported £700 million with the appointment of financial service advisors Evercore.

However, Tim Buchan, Zenith’s ceo refused to be drawn on the matter, saying:

“There are a number of corporate finance options available to Zenith, including a refinancing, given the market’s strong and longstanding support for the business. In this context, Zenith has been working with a number of advisors with Evercore taking the lead role.

“As a private equity owned business, it is generally considered good practice to have an advisor working alongside us to maximise the benefits of their expertise.”

There are a number of options available to Zenith, including a refinancing

Zenith was acquired from Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity in January 2014, a month after HgCapital had acquired Leasedrive. The combined companies traded as Zenith Leasedrive Group before merging under the Zenith brand in February 2016.

Established in 1989 with a focus on the mid to large corporates, Zenith clients include Greene King, Asda and Santander. In the last FN50, Zenith sat at number seven with a fleet size of 54,000, the first of the mid-size leasecos below the big six.

Buchan added: “Zenith continues to enjoy very strong trading conditions. Strong organic growth has been driven by our continued investment in innovation and our relentless focus on client service. This has been rewarded by significant client wins including our recent launch of the largest private company salary sacrifice scheme in the UK, and our first pan-European appointment since the establishment of our Auto Alliance partnerships.”

Zenith operates from three specialist service delivery areas in Leeds, Crowthorne and Solihull.

If the company is sold, the most likely buyer would be another private equity company.

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