Freight vehicle leasing provider Merchants Fleet is preparing to speed up new service launches, technology innovation, and market expansion after announcing it was acquired last week by a private equity firm.
Hooksett, New Hampshire-based Merchants Fleet is a 60-year-old company which says it is the nation’s fourth largest provider of fleet management services with over $2 billion in assets under management and 165,000 managed commercial fleet units across North America.
The firm said July 21 it had been acquired by the Boston financial firm Bain Capital and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). The move is an extension of Bain’s previous investment in the firm, a growth round financing in 2020.
"As the fleet management industry continues to experience considerable disruption, we are excited to continue to support Brendan and the Merchants team on their path of consistent long-term growth driven by connected vehicles, multi-modal transportation, efficiency requirements and data-driven intelligence," Olof Bergqvist, a managing director at Bain Capital, said in a release.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the members of the current Merchants Fleet leadership team will remain in their current roles and will be co-investors in the business. In addition, the firm’s CEO, Brendan P. Keegan, will also assume the roles of president & chairperson. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.
Merchants Fleet defines its market position as being a unified solution provider, with services that span fleet leasing, fuel management, telematics, remarketing, fleet consulting, electric vehicle (EV) adoption, and mobility. In recent months, the firm has invested heavily in electrifying its fleet, now holding existing reservations for 40,000 electric vehicles—a commitment of $2.5 billion.
A large part of that investment includes Merchants Fleet’s 2021 deal to reserve 5,400 mid-size, light-commercial vehicles from General Motors’ BrightDrop division for use by its last mile and delivery clients across North America.
“I've worked here for 24 yrs & have loved every moment. Now is an especially exciting time! This new ownership will enable Merchants to bring more innovation, disruption, & client-centered programs to the market!”— Merchants Fleet (@merchantsfleet) July 28, 2022
~Diana Holland - VP, Strategic Pursuits https://t.co/PpCLd4enoy