The owner of Addison Lee has put the brakes on an £800m sale of London's biggest minicab operation in order to pursue acquisitions that would take it onto the streets of New York for the first time.
Carlyle, the private equity investor which bought Addison Lee last year, informed prospective buyers this week that it was shelving an auction of the business.
Sources said that despite interest from other buyout firms, Carlyle had decided instead to focus on several takeover opportunities in the UK and the US, including at least one New York-based cab firm.
Addison Lee is also said to have identified a number of potential acquisitions of software businesses that would help to facilitate the company's international expansion.
SMRT, a Singaporean transport group, did consider making an offer for Addison Lee but decided against it.
Addison Lee, which was founded by former minicab driver John Griffin with a single car in 1975, now handles 10 million passenger journeys annually, with more than 4,000 drivers on its books.
Carlyle bought the business in a deal valuing it at around £300m, since when both revenues and profits have grown significantly.
In the year to August, Addison Lee recorded earnings of £64m on turnover of £240m, with a number of significant contract wins from multinational companies contributing to top-line growth.
The business has also been refinanced, enabling Carlyle to take out a multimillion pound dividend.
People close to the situation played down the suggestion that Addison Lee's business had been impacted by the emergence of technology-driven rivals such as Uber.
"Uber is focused on consumers while Addison Lee is principally about the business-to-business market," said one source.
There is only an 8% overlap between the two companies' customer bases, they added.
The company's boss enraged rivals when he suggested that its drivers should use bus lanes, and accused cyclists of causing many of the road accidents in London which have prompted concern among safety groups.
Addison Lee is a large player in the London market but has a share of only about 10%, underlining the extent to which its bosses believe there are further growth opportunities.
Its rapid ascent has not been without controversy.
Addison Lee's drivers continue to annouy the Licensed Taxi trade in London by continually using licensed Taxi ranks they have no right to use.
Their vehicles can often be found on Taxi ranks in Grosvenor Cressent, Regenget street, Vigo street, Shepherds Bush Green and the set down points at Rail Stations.
Carlyle declined to comment today, Friday.