SMRT BACKTRACKS ON £800 MILLION PLANS TO BID FOR LONDON CAB OPERATOR

SINGAPORE: SMRT said on Monday (Oct 13) 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 it 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,” the company said.

Last Saturday, Britain’s Sky News reported that the public transport operator was in the early stages of making a £800 million (S$1.6 billion) for the London firm.

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. According to a source close to the company, Carlyle has decided to start an auction process after receiving unsolicited offers for the business.

Besides SMRT, private equity firms BC Partners, CVC Capital and Charterhouse were reportedly among the organisations making bids.

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