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Addison Lee and CitySprint expand fleets with Lewis Day acquisition

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London minicab company Addison Lee has acquired the passenger car operations of Lewis Day. These businesses account for 50% of Lewis Day’s £36million annual turnover.

The deal, which took place on November 28, also saw courier firm CitySprint acquire Lewis Day’s courier division and its Medical Services Limited courier operation.

All three companies are members of the Fleet200 – Fleet News’s listing of the largest fleets in the UK across 10 key industry sectors.

Addison Lee and CitySprint are both in the top 10 in the Transport Communications Distribution sector (at number five and nine respectively) while Lewis Day sits just outside the top 10 in this year’s listing with 1,050 vehicles.

The acquisition is CitySprint’s largest to date. It has already made three other purchases this year: Mainlink and Airlink Couriers in Swindon, TnM Couriers in Warrington, and Despatch UK in Brentwood.

Addison Lee also has a history of recent acquisitions, buying Premier Transport Group (consisting of Premier Dispatch, Premier First and Purple Courier) in 2009 and Anderson Young in 2004.

The deal sees several hundred vehicles added to Addison Lee’s fleet of 3,000 minicabs and 200 Mercedes-Benz E-class and C-class chauffeur vehicles. It will see the company challenging the Post Office for fourth position in the Transport Communications Distribution sector in next year’s Fleet200 listing.

It also means that hybrids will be added to the Addison Lee fleet for the first time as Lewis Day ran 250 Toyota Prius models – believed to be the biggest hybrid fleet in the country.

The company is already exploring the use of fully-electric cars within its minicab fleet by operating two electric Nissan Leafs as part of a pilot project. It is also participating in the wireless electric vehicle charging pilot scheme.

Liam Griffin, managing director of Addison Lee, said: “We feel there’s a great fit between the companies and that we can offer Lewis Day’s corporate clients an improved service thanks to our large fleet and range of smartphone apps and online booking systems.

“We’ll be looking to cut waiting times and offer a range of innovative solutions to corporate account holders.”

The company recently scooped the ‘Best Large Private Sector Fleet’ and the ‘Innovation in Fleet Management Award’ at the Energy Saving Trust Fleet Hero Awards.

CitySprint’s courier fleet grows from 1,522 vans to more than 2,000 vehicles following the acquisition and it is also likely to climb at least one place in the 2012 Fleet200.

Patrick Gallagher (pictured), chief executive of CitySprint, commented: “Lewis Day is a great brand and business which further strengthens our position as the UK’s largest same-day courier network, adding further capacity to our fleet to better service our customers.

“The acquisition accelerates our strategy of creating significant scale and reach in the UK-wide same-day courier market.”

He confirmed that Lewis Day’s operations “are being fully integrated into CitySprint’s” and that Lewis Day is being re-branded, although “it will take some months” to complete the process.

There are no immediate plans to make any changes to staffing levels and rates and contacts remain unchanged for existing corporate customers.

“We have allowed a sensible transition window over the coming months to ensure we offer customers and staff a well-managed migration across to the CitySprint brand,” Gallagher added.

Addison Lee’s Griffin said: “Initially it will be ‘business as usual’ with no changes to the service for existing companies. Over time we will look to introduce more and more of the benefits experienced by existing Addison Lee account holders, such as less than 10-minute average pick-up times in central London.”

He declined to comment on whether the Lewis Day car service operation will be re-branded Addison Lee and whether the company’s fleet team will be fully integrated with Addison Lee’s fleet team and what impact the deal has on staffing levels.

City Sprint’s acquisitions
2011: Lewis Day’s courier operations, Mainlink and Airlink Couriers, TnM Couriers and Despatch UK
2010: Road Runners and Post Haste Group
2009: On the Dot Couriers

Addison Lee’s acquisitions
2011: Lewis Day’s passenger car operations 2009: Premier Transport Group (consisting of Premier Dispatch, Premier First and Purple Courier)
2004: Anderson Young

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