DaimlerChrysler Financial Services has sold its auto-lease consulting firm, Remarketing Services of America, to Fiserv Inc. as part of a move by DaimlerChrysler to sell noncore businesses.
Fiserv, of Brookfield, Wis., provides data processing and information systems to the financial industry.
Remarketing Services, of Amherst, N.Y., specializes in reducing the risk of losses on residual values of leased vehicles. The company manages more than 300,000 vehicles and $3.2 billion worth of transactions annually for banks, captive finance companies and fleets.
The company is 'highly profitable,' said Stuart Angert, co-CEO of Remarketing Services. Without disclosing the sale price, Angert said DaimlerChrysler sold the company for three times what it paid just over four years ago.
'This is not some sort of distress sale. There just comes a time for a company when something else becomes the logical thing to do,' he said at the Consumer Bankers Association Automobile Finance Conference in Orlando, Fla., on March 13.
The former Daimler-Benz AG bought Remarketing Services in 1996. At the time, the company had about 65 employees. Today it has about 500, said Andrew Shaevel, the other co-CEO.
Under Daimler-Benz and captive finance company Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp., Remarketing Services continued to service other clients in the auto industry. That became harder after the 1998 DaimlerChrysler merger. Chrysler Financial Co. LLC had less interest than Daimler-Benz in serving non-Chrysler clients.
In September 2000, DaimlerChrysler sold a controlling interest in online auto lender giggo.com to PeopleFirst.com of San Diego, another online lender. DaimlerChrysler kept 23 percent of the combined company. In December 2000, DaimlerChrysler Services shut its small Affinity Services Division and parceled the business out to other subsidiaries.