Jaguar Land Rover mulls bid for taxi company

Addison Lee taxis (Credit: M W / Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0)

Jaguar Land Rover is looking at a deal to acquire a London taxi firm heavily involved in driverless passenger transport.

Addison Lee, which is the second biggest taxi firm in the capital behind Uber, has been put up for sale by its current owners the Carlyle Group.

JLR is up against other car manufacturers, private equity firms and tech companies, according to reports in the Sunday Telegraph.

Bank of America and Rothschild have been hired to find a buyer for the firm, which is valued at around £300m.

Jaguar Land Rover has had its share of troubles in recent years, and analysts have suggested that this move would position JLR better for future developments in the industry, including driverless technology.

Addison Lee has been involved in bringing this technology into the taxi sector. It announced in November 2018 that it was to lead a £15m government-backed consortium to help launch self-driving passenger cars in the capital by 2021.

In its most recent available accounts, Addison Lee posted revenues of £345.7m for the year to 31 August 2017, up from £263.9m the year before. However Addison Lee has had its own troubles, facing app-based services like Uber. It reported a loss of £20.8m for the year, compared to a profit of £10.5m in the previous period.

JLR, which is owned by Indian manufacturing giant Tata, recently posted a quarterly loss of £3.4bn. It was forced to write down the value of its investments as demand in China in particular faced a decline.

Earlier this month it started a wek-long shutdown of its main manufacturing sites in addition to the Easter break, as it looks to prepare for Brexit.

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