BT flogs off its fleet vehicle maintenance arm to German private equity types Aurelius

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BT is selling its fleet vehicle maintenance and leasing business to German private equity firm Aurelius.

BT Fleet Solutions looks after not just BT and Openreach vans, but also thousands of vehicles for other companies.

A BT Openreach van, used by engineers installing and repairing IPTV telephone, broadband, ADSL and SuperFast fibre broadband services. Martin Hoscik /

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The company employs 950 people and manages 80,000 vehicles for over 26 blue chips. It has 65 garages, 50 mobile engineers and uses 500 partner facilities.

The deal, we are told, aligns with BT's broader transformation programme and will presumably provide a bit of cash for 5G and other network investments.

Munich-based Aurelius plans to work with existing management to, er, "drive growth" via "operational improvements", along with investment in heavy goods vehicles, accident management and vehicle funding. It is also looking to expand both organically and through acquisition.

The private equity firm's ominously titled "operational task force" will "support BT Fleet Solutions in executing a carve out from BT... to position the business as an independent entity". Aurelius also expects to rebrand the business within the next year.

BT Fleet will continue to provide services to both BT and Openreach.

Both BT and Aurelius have agreed not to reveal the price for the business. But given that it turned over £209.5m and made a profit of £29.5m according to its last filed accounts, it could be a reasonably sized deal. Revenue and profits were both down on 2017's results.

Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT's enterprise unit, said Aurelius was the ideal partner for the next steps for the business. "I'd like to thank our colleagues in BT Fleet Solutions for all they have done for the business and the wider BT Group and wish them every success for the future." ®

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