Netherlands-based LeasePlan has announced it won’t pay dividends for the fourth quarter of 2019 to its shareholder LP Group – a consortium that includes various Dutch pension funds – as a sign that privately-owned companies are hedging against the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
It said it had also deferred non-urgent investments “to ensure it has the maximum room for manoeuvre in the coming months”.
LP Group has agreed with LeasePlan withholding its dividend payment, which is assumed to amount to €69m.
The consortium – which comprises five participants, including the €238bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW and the €118bn Danish pension fund ATP – received €165m of dividends for the first nine months of 2019.
LeasePlan reported total net results of €557m for 2019.
PGGM, the asset manager for PFZW, declined to provide details about its stake in LP Group. The asset manager won’t be directly affected by LeasePlan’s decision, as LP Group only pays its participants their share of the accumulated dividens once they divest their stake.
LP Group, which bought Leaseplan in 2015, also comprises private equity investors TDR Capital and GIC, as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
In October 2018, the consortium backtracked on its plan for an IPO when markets suddenly nose-dived.
At the end of last year, PFZW had invested €14bn in private equity, equating to 5.9% of its entire assets. The scheme’s holdings of the asset class returned 16.9% for 2019.