Taxi firm Ad­di­son Lee ac­cel­er­ates job cuts as own­ers start drive to re­duce costs

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Ed Clowes

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.

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