Singapore's SMRT Not Bidding for London Taxi Firm Addison Lee
Singapore's SMRT is not bidding for London taxi irm Addison Lee.SMRT

Singapore public transport operator SMRT has said that it will not table a bid for UK minicab operator Addison Lee.

SMRT, responding to reports that it was considering an £800m ($1.3bn, €1bn) acquisition bid for the unlisted British firm, said in a 13 October statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange: "The company is constantly looking out for investment opportunities that contribute to sustainable growth for its stakeholders.

"In this regard, the company was approached by an investment bank on the possible sale of Addison Lee. Having considered the matter, the company has decided not to make a bid at this stage to acquire Addison Lee."

Addison Lee's owner, private equity group Carlyle, opened an auction for the company, Sky News reported on 11 October.

Credit Suisse was managing the sale, the report added.

SMRT, which operates Singapore's subway lines, also runs bus and taxi services.

Addison Lee, founded by former cab driver John Griffin with a single car in 1975, handles 10 million passenger journeys per year and employs over 4,000 drivers.

Carlyle Deals

Carlyle, headquartered in Washington DC, has around $203bn worth of assets under management.

In September Carlyle sold a stake in RAC, the UK's second-largest roadside-assistant provider, to Singapore's sovereign-wealth fund GIC, rather than take it public.

Carlyle said in a statement that the investment was expected to be completed by the end of the year.

That deal valued RAC at over £2bn, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Carlyle acquired Addison Lee for £300m in early 2013. It acquired RAC in 2011.