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Daimler to buy Rabobank's Athlon for $1.2 billion

Staff writer |
Daimler will buy Rabobank's Athlon car leasing arm for 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to more than triple the size of its fleet management business.

Automakers are branching out of their core manufacturing operations into a variety of related services in a bid to tap growing demand for cheaper and more flexible ways of transport, such as shared vehicle ownership and access to cars on demand.

Daimler plans to integrate Athlon, which manages a fleet of 250,000 vehicles in 11 European countries, into its own Daimler Fleet Management business, adding rival makes and lifting the combined number of cars and vans under management to 340,000.

"This allows us to open up new market potential, both for our vehicles and for Daimler's mobility services," Daimler's finance chief Bodo Uebber said.

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