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4 Oct 18

LeasePlan announces (and then cancels) IPO

LeasePlan has cancelled its intention to launch an Initial Public Offering and list its shares on the Euronext exchanges in Amsterdam and Brussels. The IPO, announced on 4 October, was expected to take place in the coming weeks, and was aimed at retail investors in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as institutional investors. The company today (11 October) cited "market conditions" as the reason for the cancellation. The article below provides context to LeasePlan's initial intention to go public. 

“This is history in the making,” said LeasePlan CEO Tex Gunning last week. “This marks another major milestone in our mission to deliver what’s next for our customers.” 

“Excellent position”

“LeasePlan is in an excellent position across our two markets. In Car-as-a-Service, we have more cars on the road than ever before, an enviable 30-year track record of unbroken profitability, and a strong, resilient and cash-generative business model.”

“CarNext.com, our pan-European B2C and B2B digital marketplace, is disrupting the used-car market and is growing exponentially, having already expanded its presence from 5 to 18 countries in under 15 months.” 

IPO settlement

“I am very proud of everything LeasePlan has achieved and believe that becoming a public company is the logical next step in our company’s development,” Mr Gunning continues.

Right now, LeasePlan officially still is a private, limited-liability company named LP Group NV. Prior to settlement of the IPO, it would be converted into a public, limited-liability company named LeasePlan NV.

The IPO would consist entirely of existing shares held by the company’s current sole shareholder, Lincoln Financing Holdings Pte Ltd acting through its Dutch branch. 

Long-term investors

That sole shareholder is ultimately controlled by the consortium of long-term investors composed of pension funds, investment and sovereign wealth funds which acquired LeasePlan in 2015 from a joint venture prominently featuring Volkswagen AG. 

“This IPO was long-announced and long-expected by the market,” says a leasing expert close to the company. “Nevertheless, it is big news – much bigger than ALD’s IPO some time ago.” 

Société Générale daughter ALD launched an IPO in June 2017, the first major European leasing company to do so. However, the IPO was limited to 20% of ALD’s stock, while LeasePlan’s announcement mentions no such restriction. 

“We have to see LeasePlan’s IPO in the context of a booming mobility industry. Because of the fast-moving development – and consequent business opportunities – in mobility, it’s an industry that is eagerly being followed by investors.” 

“Ready for growth”

“Going public effectively starts a new chapter in the story of LeasePlan. Over the past few years, it has worked hard at restructuring and growing beyond its VW post, to become truly independent, more profitable, and ready for growth.” 

“The IPO will provide LeasePlan with the stability and the resources to increase its investment in mobility innovation and consolidation, against the backdrop of a booming market.”

Authored by: Frank Jacobs