Addison Lee up for sale as Carlyle Group look for swift exit

Minicab firm Addison Lee are set to look for new buyers as American owners Carlyle Group seek to recoup on investment.  

The investment group is looking to sell its majority stake in the London based minicab firm after buying it in 2013 for about £300 million. The private equity group went on to plough a further £100 million in to Addison Lee as they seeked to grow outside of London. 

According to sources the firm are looking to sell Addison Lee for £390 million which could signal a small loss on its investment. 

Addison Lee operates the second largest private hire service in London after Uber. The firm’s 5,000 cars are said to complete about 25,000 jobs a day, bringing it about 10% of the £3 billion London taxi and private hire market.

Just recently Addison Lee announced it would invest in 1,200 Volkswagen Sharans to create a fleet that is compliant with Transport for London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will come into force on 8 April 2019.

However, the minicab company continues to fight against workers’ rights and announced financial losses of £20.8 million for the last financial year despite record turnover.

In November 2018, the courts once again agreed Addison Lee drivers were legally entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay rights. 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rejected Addison Lee’s arguments that their drivers are self-employed contractors running their own businesses. The EAT confirmed the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the true nature of the relationship is that Addison Lee drivers work for Addison Lee – agreeing with the original Employment Tribunal decision last year. The ruling will mean thousands of Addison Lee drivers are legally entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.

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