BRIDLE Vehicle Leasing has expanded again with the acquisition of Birmingham-based broker Autoplan Vehicle Contracts, the trading name of BCL.
Although the deal was agreed last year, the acquisition wasn’t secured until last week following FCA approval .
This latest Bridle acquisition, which takes the group to a significant fleet size of 17,500, follows the acquisition in January last year of Automotive Funding Solutions, including The School Minibus Company. It takes the group size to seven companies.
Andy Gibbins, who founded Autoplan in 1995, will leave the operation, while co-director Natasha Taroni will remain to provide ongoing support, having worked with the company for more than 20 years.
Stewart Donald, chairman of Bridle Group, said: “Autoplan’s philosophy of putting the customer at the forefront was an influencing factor, their consultative approach matched our own principles, so the decision was not a difficult one once we held talks and found synergy between our businesses.”
Autoplay’s Natasha Taroni added: “Uniting with a larger group really strengthens our offering to clients old and new.
“Bridle has already introduced two new funders – Alphabet and Hitachi – both of whom will offer real benefit to our already enviable portfolio of finance partners. As well as this, an array of ancillary products, such as vehicle tracking and telematics, really go hand in hand with our fleet management style.”
The approach from Bridle is similar to its previous acquisitions – taking on a mature business to springboard further growth. It means the Bridle Group is now a significantly sized broker.
Managing director Alan Carreras hinted that there would be further acquisitions this year that would take the group to 25,000 vehicles – the same size as the recently merged Fleet Alliance and Neva Consultants.