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First Vehicle Leasing Specialist To Join Icfm

By Kyle Lindsay
Monday, July 31, 2017 - 13:50

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Fast-growing Fleet Assist has been acquired by United States-headquartered investment house Eli Global for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition by North Carolina-based Eli Global will provide Fleet Assist with a new tranche of funding allowing it to accelerate its growth plans and continue to expand both organically and through acquisitions.

This follows the decision made some 18 months ago by Fleet Assist’s co-founders Mike Smith and Simon English to step back from their day-to-day roles, and promote Vincent St Claire earlier this year to managing director. He’s supported by chief information officer Jonathon Smith, with Chris Crow, head of network services, and Brigitte Deacon, head of finance, completing the senior management team.

The award-winning Cambridgeshire-based business was launched in 2003 and has expanded to be the leading supply chain management specialist to the UK’s contract hire, leasing and rental sector, with customers that collectively operate more than 800,000 vehicles.

At the company’s core is a managed network of more than 5,000 service outlets providing nationwide coverage for customers’ vehicles. The network is then supported by a contact centre and technical authorisation services as well as industry leading data analytics.

FLEET ASSIST ON THE EXPANSION ROAD WITH ACQUISITION BY UNITED STATES-BASED INVESTMENT COMPANY

Eli Global operates as “a federation of independent businesses” and has expanded over the last 20 years to embrace separate business units stretching across more than 15 different market sectors – including healthcare, financial services and insurance. It employs thousands of people operating from more than 20 locations globally. Its ‘buy and hold’ philosophy means that, unlike typical private equity firms, it takes a long-term view.

Eli Global’s acquisition of Fleet Assist marks the group’s move into the UK automotive industry and the organisation sees the company as the cornerstone of its expansion into the sector providing it with the ability to further develop its services and invest in new markets and businesses in the future.

Mr St Claire said: “Fleet Assist has an exciting future. The business is growing rapidly as we aim to help our customers – vehicle leasing and rental companies – further reduce their maintenance and back office costs by using our nationwide managed network of service outlets, analysing where savings can be made and then implementing a wide variety of projects.

“The culture and ethos of Fleet Assist will remain unchanged, but with greater investment opportunities now available the business will move to a whole new level and further strengthen our relationships with existing customers.

“Fleet Assist already has a number of exciting new products and services in the pipeline that will benefit customers and the senior management team anticipates bringing them to fruition in the coming months.”

Both Mr St Claire and Jonathan Smith are equity investors in the new structure with Mike Smith and Mr English being retained on a consultancy basis to assist in the delivery of some exciting new projects.

Fleet Assist is a business specialising in supply chain management and consultancy for the fleet industry.

Founded in 2003, at the company’s core is a managed network of more than 5,000 service outlets providing nationwide coverage to vehicle contract hire, leasing companies and daily rental organisations.

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