SMRT decides against bid for London's biggest minicab operator

Singapore public transportation operator SMRT Corp Ltd has decided against making a takeover bid for Addison Lee, London's biggest minicab operator. -- ST PHOTO FILE
Singapore public transportation operator SMRT Corp Ltd has decided against making a takeover bid for Addison Lee, London's biggest minicab operator. -- ST PHOTO FILE

Singapore - Singapore public transport operator SMRT said on Monday it has decided against making a takeover bid for Addison Lee, London's biggest minicab operator.

In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, SMRT said had been approached by an investment bank on the possible sale of Addison Lee.

"Having considered the matter, the company has decided not to make a bid at this stage to acquire Addison Lee," said the statement.

Media reports over the weekend said SMRT was considering making an offer of £800 million (S$1.6 billion).

Addison Lee is being put up for sale by its private equity owner, Carlyle Group, which paid £300 million for a majority stake in April 2013.

Besides SMRT, up to half a dozen buyout firms, including BC Partners, Charterhouse and CVC Capital Partners were reportedly expressed interest in making a bid.

In September, SMRT announced its tie-up with Hailo, the London-based taxi booking application developer. SMRT and Hailo are expected to launch their services this month.

Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro already has a big presence in London after acquiring British cab company Comcab in 1997.