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Auto leasing firm LeasePlan aims to list in 2018, say sources: Reuters

Netherlands-based LeasePlan, the world’s largest auto-leasing firm, aims to float next year and could raise more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

LeasePlan said last month it was considering an IPO, potentially following in the tracks of French bank Societe Generale’s car leasing arm ALD which raised 1.2 billion euros when it floated in June.

Deutsche Bank and UBS are expected to be picked as global coordinators for the planned listing, while STJ is advising owner TDR on the process, the people said.

TDR and the banks declined to comment.

ALD trades at a multiple of 10 times its 2017 expected earnings, while LeasePlan reported a rise in net profit by 15 percent to 275 million euros in the fist half of 2017.

Assuming a similar valuation to ALD, Leaseplan it could be worth around 6 billion euros, meaning 25 percent of the firm could be sold for about 1.5 billion at IPO, analyst said.

The exact size and timing of the Leaseplan IPO – which may slip into the second half of 2018 – have not yet been decided.

Smaller German peer Sixt Leasing trades at a P/E ratio of 17, but is less comparable due some one-offs and its booming e-commerce business, one analyst said.

LeasePlan was sold by Volkswagen and German bank Metzler in 2015 for 3.7 billion euros to a group of investors including Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM, Danish pension fund ATP, GIC, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and investment funds managed by TDR Capital.

Along with European rivals, LeasePlan faces some uncertainties over the valuation of its 1.7 million vehicles under management, partly due to tighter emissions regulations.

However, the company said in its 2016 annual report that to date it has not seen any significant impact on residual values or on the demand for certain types of used cars.

Volkswagen Financial Services said on Wednesday that it also does not see the diesel debate having a significant impact on residual values of its leasing fleet.