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.


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.