Addison Lee’s owners, ‘Carlyle Group’, have advised they are to sell off their business interests in the company by early next year, to avoid crippling debts.
The company confirmed early this week, that banks have carried out an "evaluation of Addison Lee’s future capital structure", focused on an "ongoing sales process".
The Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Rothschild are advising.
Carlyle bought Addison Lee from founder John Griffin for £300m 6 years ago, just as ride share apps such as Uber were beginning to take a major foothold.
Addison Lee is currently carrying a net debt of around £230m, with the biggest slice due for repayment in April 2020, according to the most recent Companies House documents.
Rumour has it, talks to find potential buyers, which began early this year, are still ongoing.
It’s alleged that the sales process will continue at least until the end of 2019 but that Carlyle could then consider different options such as restructuring talks with lenders behind the business, which also include Dutch bank ING.
In Addison Lee’s last set of accounts, for the year to August 2018, they generated revenues of £390m, an increase of almost 13 per cent.
But still made a pre-tax loss of £38.9m, an increase in loss from last years £20.8m.
Addison Lee operates over 4,500 cars in London, and has sought to invest heavily in new technology in a bit to fight off the massive competition from online app based minicab businesses.
The company not the cheapest form of transport, sees itself as a premium service superior to largest competitor Uber. The majority of its customers are regular accounts holders
In a recent statement, chief executive of the Addison Lee Group Andy Boland said:
"Revenue growth had been driven by international expansion, as well as a focus on service and investment in infrastructure".
Addison Lee were granted a new 5 year licence by TfL back in February 2018.
Addison Lee’s courier business has been awarded a prestigious accreditation by TfL’s Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).