Founded with one car in Battersea in 1975, the father and son management team of John and Liam Griffin, have confirmed that they have sold a majority shareholding of the business today to the Carlyle Group.
It has been quite a rise to fortune for – often controversial – John Griffin who gave up training to be an accountant and took up mini-cabbing in order to make ends meet and rescue his father’s business.
Today, Addison Lee uses a cutting edge IT system to manage bookings for its 4500 cars after emerging as the major competitor to London’s black cabs.
Under the terms of the deal, the elder Griffin, John, will remain as chairman and the younger as chief executive. Drivers who work for the company don’t own shares and so will not get a windfall after today’s deal.
Speaking about the deal Liam Griffin said: “We’re very much concentrated in central London but now we can look at going further afield within the M25, like the suburbs. We’ll look primarily at that area first.”
Carlyle Europe Partners managing director Andrew Burgess said he was keen to roll out Addison Lee to other cities in the UK which could benefit from the cabbie’s use of apps and technology that creates such an “efficient dispatch” system.
Internationally, Addison Lee already has burgeoning joint ventures in Paris and New York and the younger Griffin said that Carlyle’s deep international experience — it has 33 offices around the world — would help Addison Lee make major breakthroughs overseas.
Carlyle was advised on the transaction by Deloitte, OC&C and Latham & Watkins. Addison Lee was advised by Catalyst Corporate Finance.