BT Fleet Solutions to target growth after sale to asset managers Aurelius
BT Fleet Solutions - the UK’s largest commercial fleet management business - has been bought for an undisclosed sum by German-headquartered asset management firm Aurelius, which specialises in buying and developing assets.
The deal is due to complete in the second half of 2019 and the BT Group subsidiary is expected to be rebranded within the next 12 months.
Aurelius intends to drive growth by investment in key business areas – such as heavy goods vehicles, accident management and vehicle funding.
Opportunity due to Brexit
“This deal is a demonstration of our continued interest in the UK market, which presents a number of compelling opportunities for us as a result of the ongoing economic and political uncertainty that has arisen out of Brexit,” says Aurelius Group-CEO and Chairman Dr Dirk Markus.
Headquartered in Solihull, BT Fleet Solutions offers a comprehensive suite of fleet management services for 26 blue chip customers across all stages of the vehicle life cycle, through its network of 65 in-house garages, 500 partner facilities and 50 mobile technicians.
Established in 2002, BT Fleet Solutions employs 950 staff around the UK, and manages 80,000 vehicles across diversified industries.
The latest accounts for 2017/18 for BT Fleet Ltd show revenues of £209.5m and its industry-leading position leaves it well placed to capture the high levels of growth available in the UK’s fleet management market, says Aurelius.
The deal will see a carve out of the non-core division from BT Group Plc, including a long-term partnership agreement to continue management of BT’s own fleet.
In a joint statement, both parties say the deal is “further demonstration of BT’s ongoing transformation programme and of Aurelius’ status as a leader in complex divestment processes.”
Drive growth for the business
The divestment of BT Fleet Solutions aligns with BT’s ongoing transformation programme and strategy of focusing on converged connectivity and services, with further investments in both its fixed and mobile networks via programmes such as full fibre and 5G.
In the coming months, Aurelius’ operational task force will support BT Fleet Solutions in executing the carve out from BT, ensuring a seamless continuation of the company’s day-to-day operations, while working to position the business as an independent entity.
Aurelius will work with BT Fleet Solutions’ existing management team to maintain its market-leading position and drive growth for the business.
This will be delivered through a range of initiatives, including operational improvement, investment in key business areas – such as heavy goods vehicles, accident management and vehicle funding – and the continued delivery of excellent customer service to clients, including former parent company, BT, and its legally separate Openreach business.
Aurelius will also work with management to identify customer and product expansion opportunities, both organically and through acquisition.
Dr. Dirk Markus, Group-CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Aurelius, adds: “This acquisition is a further example of Aurelius’ specialism in acquiring non-core divisions that have been carved out of large corporates, and are in need of operational support to transform them into standalone, sustainable organisations.
“BT Fleet Solutions is a strong business with a high-calibre customer base. We look forward to working with management to ensure a smooth transition in the coming months, positioning the company as an independent entity that is ready to capture the significant growth opportunity available in the UK market.”
The timing is right...
Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT’s Enterprise unit, says: “The acquisition of BT Fleet Solutions by Aurelius is an exciting and significant step forward in its development and will deliver for its customers, people and the BT Group.
“Over the past five years, our Fleet business has grown into a multi-award winning market leader in the sector.
“The unrivalled expertise and experience of its people in managing and maintaining complex fleets has been key to this success.
“With BT’s renewed focus on investing in the best fixed and mobile networks in the UK, and with BT Fleet Solutions well positioned to achieve further growth, the time is right for the business to find a new home.
“Aurelius is ideally placed to support the next phase of BT Fleet Solutions’ development and deliver new services to its customers.”
Find out more: Aurelius
Find out more: BT Fleet Solutions