UPDATE 1-Element Financial to explore sale of certain Canadian assets

Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:31am EDT
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(Adds analyst, CEO comments, company plans)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO Oct 14 (Reuters) - Element Financial said on Wednesday it plans to sell its Canadian commercial and vendor financing operations as it bolsters its newly acquired status as North America's leading fleet management and services enterprise.

The Toronto-based company said it will reinvest proceeds from the sale of the C&V business into growth and acquisition opportunities in its fleet management business.

In June, the company became the North American leader in that area when it acquired General Electric's fleet management business in the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand for $6.9 billion.

The company said it has retained Barclays Capital to act as its advisor in the development of strategic alternatives for its Canadian C&V segment, which finances a diverse array of products from trucks to printers.

Element said it plans to be in a position to act on any recommendations in the first-quarter of 2016.

"We love the fleet business because of our scale, we are the big barkin' dog in the North American sector - that scale brings value to us and our clients" said Chief Executive Steven Hudson, on a call.

Hudson said Element plans to do small tuck-in transactions in the fleet business in the current and upcoming quarter. He said Element is still eyeing one more large acquisition in the fleet business likely toward the end of 2016.   Continued...