New ownership and funding at Addison Lee Group
- Addison Lee to be recapitalised by consortium of investors, with Cheyne Capital becoming largest shareholder
- US business sold to RMA to create leading player on the East Coast
- Liam Griffin to return as Group CEO, following completion of the transaction
LONDON, 20 February 2020 — Addison Lee Group (“Addison Lee” or “the Group”), the world’s largest managed ground transportation service provider, confirms today that it will be entering into new long-term funding arrangements with a consortium of investors, led by Cheyne Capital (“Cheyne”) and Liam Griffin, to support the future of its UK business. At the same time, the Addison Lee US business has been acquired by RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation (“RMA”). The terms of this transaction are undisclosed.
Addison Lee UK sale and recapitalisation
Under the new arrangements, Addison Lee’s overall debt will be more than halved, and substantial new capital made available to the business. This will provide the business with additional funding and an appropriate capital structure to enable further growth, investment and support cash generation.
On completion of the transaction, Addison Lee’s UK business will be sold by The Carlyle Group (“Carlyle”) to a consortium of investors. At that time, Cheyne will become the Group’s largest shareholder and Liam Griffin, currently a non-executive director and shareholder, will return as CEO, replacing Andy Boland, who has led the business for the last four and a half years. Completion of the transaction will take place in March 2020, following the receipt of customary approvals.
Under Carlyle’s ownership, and during a period of unprecedented and significant market change, Addison Lee has secured its position as the quality car provider of choice to both corporates and consumers in the UK, with Group revenue increasing from £225 million in the year ended August 2013 (FY13) to circa £390 million in FY19.
Addison Lee US strategic partnership and sale to RMA
The acquisition of Addison Lee US by RMA represents a strategic opportunity to build a US leader in premium ground transport through the geographic and service consolidation between the two businesses. Following investment in the Addison Lee US business under Carlyle ownership, the next stage of development requires further operational scale. This combination will provide RMA with a footprint that reaches from Boston to Virginia, by way of New York State and Delaware.
As part of the deal, Addison Lee UK has also agreed a long-term strategic partnership with RMA, whereby international bookings to the US or UK will be fulfilled by each of the respective partners in order to support customers’ international travel needs.
Andy Boland, Chief Executive, Addison Lee Group said:
“This is a great moment for the future of Addison Lee with agreement on a new capital structure for the UK to support growth, and a new US owner to help take the American business to the next stage. Thanks to our partnership with Carlyle and their investment in the business, Addison Lee has a strong operations and technology platform supporting an unrivalled franchise with business customers in the UK – all underpinned by our first-class workforce and fleet of driver partners”.
Anthony Robertson, CIO of Cheyne Strategic Value Credit said:
“We’re very pleased to be investing in the future of Addison Lee. The new group structure will enable Addison Lee to be focused on its core UK market, with the objective of further consolidating its leadership position in the corporate sector to deliver enhanced profitability and cash flow. We will build on the strength of the underlying business by further enhancing the customer experience and supporting the driver community.”
Liam Griffin, prospective Chief Executive, said:
“Whilst new entrants and technology may have changed over my 25 years with the business, what our passengers want remains the same. They are still drawn to Addison Lee’s values of quality, trust and, of course, choice.
We were the world’s first company to develop a taxi app and we’ve continued to invest in our technology ensuring the Addison Lee experience is even more accessible and flexible to its customers. I couldn’t be more excited to be helping write the next chapter in our history.”
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