By Geoff Senescall



Former Skellerup Group boss Murray Bolton is now a cabbie.



No, he is not down on his luck after losing more than $10 million at Skellerup, but he has bought the Auckland-based company Corporate Cabs jointly with former Skellerup colleague Allan Dickinson.



The company, which operates 150 owner-driver cars, was bought from Mark Hotchin at the beginning of the month for an undisclosed price.

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The pair are negotiating to buy Wellington Corporate Cabs, also owned by Mr Hotchin.



Mr Dickinson - who ran the distribution arm of Skellerup and lost money in backing Mr Bolton's leveraged buyout of the company in 1996 - said that he would be driving the investment.



Mr Bolton would adopt a passive role.



The former Brierley executive, who was responsible for getting the highly successful casino company Sky City off the ground, has several other investments, including a shareholding in discount broker Access Brokerage.



Mr Dickinson said that he intended to expand the business.



"The biggest criticism from our customer base is that you can't get a cab.



"So I see upside in increasing the number of cabs in Auckland and Wellington [which has around 30 cabs].



Set up in 1991, Corporate Cabs is an upmarket taxi service.