Bank of Ireland UK arm buys car leasing business for €48m

Deal subject to clearance from UK watchdog is expected to conclude by end of year

Bank of Ireland’s UK-based asset finance business, Northridge Finance, has agreed the deal to buy Marshall Leasing from Marshall Motor Holdings. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

Bank of Ireland’s UK-based asset finance business, Northridge Finance, has agreed the deal to buy Marshall Leasing from Marshall Motor Holdings. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

 

Bank of Ireland’s UK arm has agreed to buy a British car leasing and fleet management business for £42.5 million (€48.2 million).

Northridge Finance, the bank’s UK-based asset finance business, has agreed the deal to buy Marshall Leasing from its listed parent company, Marshall Motor Holdings.

Marshall operates a fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles and is focused on supplying vehicles on a contractor and daily basis to companies in the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) sector.

The deal is expected to conclude by the end of the year, and is subject to clearance from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

In addition to buying the business, upon completion Northridge will also pay Marshall’s parent a one-off fee of €500,000 for the use of the Marshall brand name for a five-year period.

Expansion

Bank of Ireland (UK) chief executive Des Crowley said the acquisition “will help Northridge Finance to continue to develop and diversify its business”. Bank of Ireland plans to expand the Marshall leasing business, it said.

Marshall Motor Holdings said its would use the proceeds to reduce debt. The group said it would now focus on its retail network, which includes 104 franchised car dealerships operating under 24 different motor brands.

“It further strengthens our financial position and allows us to remain focused on driving our core retail operations,” said Daksh Gupta, Marshall’s chief executive. “In a changing and consolidating retail landscape, we see various exciting opportunities ahead.”

Marshall said the car leasing market in the UK is becoming increasingly consolidated, with eight of the top 10 operators owned by banks or car manufacturers.

The deal is believed to be the largest acquisition Bank of Ireland has completed since the onset of the financial crisis a decade ago.

The bank was unable to confirm this, however, as it has not released the financial details of some other deals, such as the purchase last December of Covestone Asset Management.