Vehicle funding and fleet management specialist, Fleet Alliance, has acquired a controlling interest in East Sussex-based Neva Consultants (Neva) for a seven figure sum.
The deal creates a new Fleet Alliance Group overseen by managing director, Martin Brown, with current Neva directors, Graham Prince and Nick Collinson, continuing in their existing roles and being responsible for day-to-day operations at Neva.
Neva will continue to trade as a separate brand but the enlarged group fleet size will now be in excess of 25,000 vehicles, which would place it at No. 14 in a national league table of leading contract hire and leasing companies.
Under the terms of the deal, Fleet Alliance will take a majority shareholding in Neva, but Graham Prince and Nick Collinson will continue to have a shareholding in the business, which they formed in 1992.
Neva offers a range of fleet management and contract hire and leasing services to both corporate and private customers, and the deal will give Fleet Alliance a greater physical presence in the south of the UK.
However, this was not one of the major considerations in its successful conclusion, said Martin Brown.
“We have known and worked with Neva for the last ten years or more and, indeed, share the same IT platform and back office systems. In that time, we have come to recognise them as a thoroughly professional, well-run business with a culture very similar to our own. In short, they made the perfect fit for us.
“Although we are head-quartered in Glasgow, we already operate on a national basis. So the positioning of Neva in the south of the UK, while useful, was not of paramount importance for us.
“More so was the relationship between the two businesses, our greater national presence through a combined operation, the corporate culture and the fit between us. It made perfect sense from a business point of view.
“This is a significant investment and acquisition for Fleet Alliance, but I would not rule out further purchases in the future,” he added.
Neva director, Graham Prince, said: “We are delighted to be part of the new enlarged Fleet Alliance Group and look forward to working closely with our new colleagues, backed by the greater resources that they can offer.
“This is not a new departure for us as we have known the personnel at Fleet Alliance for a number of years, and we know that we are joining an excellent and professionally run operation that is held in high regard throughout the UK fleet industry.”
Co-director Nick Collinson added: “This is an exciting opportunity for both businesses to expand and develop in their chosen marketplaces and share more fully the wealth of expertise within both organisations.”
Fleet Alliance recently announced a fifth successive record year in terms of fleet size, revenue and profitability and has seen growth on three fronts – in its traditional direct business, its corporate sales division and its personal leasing operation, Intelligent Car Leasing.
During the last three years, Neva has experienced 40% growth and has added Neva Direct to its portfolio to focus on the growth in the personal leasing market.
Last year, fleet decision-makers voted Fleet Alliance the UK’s top vehicle leasing and fleet management company for service to customers in the 2016 Experteye awards – for the second year in a row.
Meanwhile, Neva had successes at the British Chamber of Commerce Awards and the High Potential Business Awards, and then scooped awards for Best Company and Best Customer Service at the Leasing Broker Federation Awards in December.
Martin Brown added: “This new acquisition does not in any way alter our commitment to providing our customers with the very highest levels of service. Indeed, it reinforces that commitment.
“Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and we try our utmost to ensure that all customers are provided with a gold standard customer service – one of the reasons, we believe, for our continued success. This same mantra will apply across the new enlarged Fleet Alliance Group,” he said.