Ambitious taxi operator Take Me has added another major company to its growing portfolio, with the addition of Northamptonshire-based United Travel Group.
The £5.2 million deal is one of the biggest yet as Take Me Group seeks to build a national portfolio of taxi and private hire operations. United Travel Group runs a combined fleet of 500 cars under a number of brands, including Bounds Taxis, Raffles, Lee Cabs, Echo Cars and Alco Taxis. The group was founded 65 years ago by Harry Bound, and it operates in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Kettering, Rushden and Newport Pagnell.
Bounds group made a profit of £1.4 million in the past 12 months, despite the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Take Me Group chief executive David Hunter said: “This further expands our operations in the Midlands and A14/M1 corridors. United Travel Group is a well-run group of companies and one of the best in the centre of the UK. This will allow us to cover areas from as far east as Cambridge, right over to Milton Keynes and Northampton. It will join up with our existing companies in Leicestershire.”
Hunter said a total of six more companies would be joining the group before the end of the summer. Take Me will start to rebrand its companies later this year, as it becomes a mobility as a service provider, which manages its own fleets.
Bounds has a trading history of more than 60 years and is a well established part of United Travel Group.
David Wright, the former owner and shareholder, will be retiring to concentrate on his music and property empire, while Stuart Russell will be retained as Chief operating officer.
“I have really enjoyed developing the technology to power our taxi fleets,” said Wright. “Although the pandemic was tough on us all, it has been a challenge that I and the team here have risen to. I am now ready to concentrate my passions back into one of my other interests, my music.”
Stuart Russell will stay on and lead the fleet in the area: “The taxi industry is in my blood, I am as much in love with this role as I was 20 years ago, and now with the support and help of the Take Me Group, I know we can offer our customers a better service, look after our drivers needs, and help the office crews deliver an improved service.”
David Hunter added: “UTG is fully cloud-based using state-of-the-art technology. We look forward to welcoming the group to Take Me and plan for further expansion in the area with two more companies about to be bolted on to UTG.”