Taxi firm Addison Lee accelerates job cuts as owners start drive to reduce costs
PRIVATE taxi firm Addison Lee has started laying staff off after the coronavirus downturn forced it to speed up a bid to reduce costs.
The firm could cut as much as 10pc of its workforce to save money, an industry source said. Its premium chauffeur service Tristar is understood to have already sacked around 400 people. Addison Lee has been hit particularly hard by the disappearance of international travel because much of its business relies on airport transfers.
Formerly owned by US private equity titan Carlyle, the company was sold in March to a consortium of investors led by Cheyne Capital and Liam Griffin, the racing driver son of Addison Lee’s founder John. It has struggled with a heavy pile of debt and vanishing profit margins in the face of competition from the likes of Uber. Originally bought by Carlyle for £300m in 2013, the firm received bids as low as £40m when it went up for sale in 2019.
The company’s plight has worsened since the pandemic struck, dramatically reducing corporate travel – a key source of revenue. The company counts 80pc of the FTSE 100 as clients.
Addison Lee’s new owners have agreed to inject £45m of cash and refinance loans worth £100m. But a company source said they have also pushed for a slimming down of roles such as controllers and sales people.