German lessor Albis Leasing has agreed
to acquire a minority stake of 48.8 percent in Essen-based Gallinat
Bank, with the option to purchase the remaining shares later. As
part of the transaction, Albis HiTec Leasing, a subsidiary of Albis
Group, will also completely acquire Gallinat Leasing from Gallinat
Bank once the agreement is finalised.

Both Albis HiTec Leasing and Gallinat Leasing
operate in the small-ticket business sector. The Albis-owned
subsidiary operates throughout the country, whereas Gallinat is
more focused on particular geographical regions. It also
specialises in vendor finance. Albis HiTec focuses on small-ticket
sized deals up to €50,000.

Albis Leasing is part of a group – which also
includes Albis Finance, UTA Leasing and Kurpfalz Mobilien Leasing –
which covers most kinds of equipment, with a particular focus on
trucks and IT leasing. The group was founded in the mid-1980s and
has a business volume of €700 million and more than 30,000 SME
customers across Germany.

A spokesman for the Hamburg-headquartered
lessor said: “There are two rationales behind the acquisition – the
first one being for buying Gallinat’s leasing company, so that
Albis can gain more business, with all the effects that can derive
from that.”

The spokesman added: “The other rationale, the
one for acquiring a stake in the bank, is complementing the
existing refinancing structure for all our group subsidiaries, the
greatest problem that leasing industry is facing today.”

A team from law firm CMS Hasche Sigle led by
Jürgen Frodermann advised Gallinat Bank on all aspects of the
transaction, while Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal advisors for
Albis Leasing.

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Mayer Brown explained in a statement that the
transaction was a “strategic” move for Albis which complemented the
group’s funding options. It added that Gallinat Bank will continue
to operate independently.

The transaction is subject to approval by
Germany’s regulatory authorities, which is expected to come by the
end of October, although no definite deadline has been announced

Antonio Fabrizio