Wells Fargo agrees to buy Greater Midwest Leasing Company; forms fleet leasing business
MINNEAPOLIS — May 25, 1999
Wells Fargo & Company has agreed to buy Minneapolis-based Greater Midwest Leasing Company (GMLC).
The acquired company will form the core of a new business, Wells Fargo Fleet Leasing Services, offering comprehensive fleet leasing and management services to businesses with fleets of up to 500 vehicles.
"Greater Midwest Leasing is in a business that complements our auto finance division -- which is among the largest in the nation -- and our extensive commercial banking services," said Jerome Fons, division manager of Wells Fargo Fleet Leasing Services. "We like the business, we like the management and we like the services that the company provides."
"Our goal is to rapidly build upon Greater Midwest's already successful operation by leveraging the resources and relationships of Wells Fargo's 21-state banking franchise, and by acquiring other well-run fleet companies," said Dick Schliesmann, president of Wells Fargo Auto Finance. "We want to become the fleet lessor of choice for our commercial banking customers."
The acquisition is expected to close in the 2nd quarter of 1999 and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Wells Fargo's focus on the customer, coupled with its financial strength, broad product line and the creativity of its people, make it a tremendous strategic fit with our company," said Paul Gerlach, executive vice president of Greater Midwest Leasing. "Wells Fargo's strengths will allow us to focus on serving our customers while offering high-quality leasing products. This partnership is great news for our customers and for our business."
Founded in 1970, GMLC has seven employees and provides vehicle leasing services to commercial customers in 20 states.
According to the Automotive Fleet Fact Book, there were more than 850,000 commercial fleets of 4 or more vehicles in the U.S. at year-end 1997. Roughly 33%, or 3.3 million of the 10 million vehicles in these fleets, were leased from, and/or managed by a fleet lessor.
Wells Fargo & Company is a $201 billion diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and other distribution channels across North America, including all 50 states, and elsewhere internationally.