Dear all Dial-a-Cab Members and fellow drivers,
We have followed with interest the speculation surrounding the bids for DAC, particularly the article dated 7th April in the London Taxi Drivers Forum, which refers to two bidders pulling out. We have kept quiet until now about our numerous discussions and meetings with the DAC Board between July 2013 and our Offer, which was submitted in December 2013 (and remains on the table), to ensure Members had the opportunity to vote, hold their AGM and fully consider the implications of what is a momentous decision about the long-term future of DAC.
The Board intimated throughout the process that our Offer would be made public to Members as part of the initial voting process and we also gave permission for our identity to be revealed to Members at the AGM. From our most recent communication with the Board on 10th April 2014 it is now obvious they have no intention of presenting Members with the details of the cab:app Offer and we have been advised that exclusive discussions are now being pursued with a new third party who are still completing due diligence. Further, the Board confirmed they are not prepared to present Members with information on all three bids, as they feel the 75% vote required to achieve demutualisation will not be reached if Members are given a choice.
As DAC is owned by its Members, we believe this is not a decision that should be taken solely by the Board and that you deserve full transparency on the bidding process and proposals put forward to ensure you have access to all the information on each bid before taking such a major decision, in what could be a turning point in the history of DAC.
cab:app was invented by Peter Schive, an active London driver (badge no. 63768), to help unite independent Hackney drivers through technology by giving them the tools to do their job, increase their earnings and take on private hire. To date, cab:app’s growth has all been through word of mouth as we have steadily built up over 3,600 registered Hackney drivers in over 90 cities across the UK and Ireland. cab:app’s next major phase of technology development and plans for future growth are in progress, with many new features and benefits for drivers including an ongoing revenue share in the success of cab:app. By uniting black cab drivers across the country we will actively promote to passengers the first ever network where they can book and pay for a Hackney in any town or city by phone, website or app. The primary focus will be on building corporate accounts and other business customers to generate quality work for drivers.
Offer to DAC Members
cab:app’s interest in buying into DAC is to help transform a business that has been in decline for several years, before it’s too late, by combining the best of a radio circuit with the latest innovations in technology, media and marketing.
Our offer proposed that all assets and cash within DAC, totalling approximately £15m or £11,400 per driver, will be ring fenced and distributed 100% in 3 cash payments to drivers over 6-18 months. This assumes a sale of the property for a price indicated by the Board with any additional increase in value accruing to Members
Members can elect to take 100% cash (£11,400) or for drivers that want to own a share in the business, there is an option to re-invest 25% of the distribution (£2,850) into the new business and still take out £8,550 in cash
cab:app will invest £2 million of new cash into the company to enhance the technology platform, promote the benefits of the Hackney industry, and launch a comprehensive sales/marketing campaign to win new business for drivers, with a focus on corporate accounts and other high quality customers
Subscription fees will be frozen for 3 years, DAC drivers will have priority on existing corporate accounts, all driver ideas and feedback will be embraced, and NO private hire drivers will be permitted on the system
In summary, cab:app has a clear long term vision and strategy to transform DAC. We are passionate about helping the Hackney trade to grow, so we would welcome the opportunity to present our plan to Members. We would encourage Members to request full transparency from the Board on all bids so you can consider the merits of each and make an informed decision about YOUR future. The Members own DAC and you collectively have the power to control the final outcome, so we would urge you to exercise your democratic right and NOT let the Board alone decide your fate.
If you have any questions or comments on this letter please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or we’re happy to meet you on the ranks to discuss further.
Peter Schive, Derek Stewart and Jane Van Aken (co-founders of cab:app)