Media baron Pierre Karl Péladeau takes over Montreal taxi companies
Québecor head says he hopes to play 'important role' in future of industry
Pierre Karl Péladeau is poised to become the owner of one of the province's biggest taxi companies.
The president and CEO of Québecor announced Thursday that his offer to buy Taxelco has been accepted.
Taxelco is the parent company of Diamond Taxi, Hochelaga Taxi and the technology from the now-bankrupt Téo Taxi.
In a Facebook post announcing the purchase, Péladeau said he hopes to "play an important role" in the pursuit of environmentally friendly, electric taxi services in Montreal.
Péladeau said he plans to continue to operate Diamond Taxi and Hochelaga Taxi and retain the trademarks and app-based technology associated with Téo Taxi.
"We have electric cars, and I've always been a strong proponent of electricity, certainly the one that is produced here in Quebec, because it's a clean energy and it's a renewable energy," he said in a brief scrum with reporters Thursday afternoon.
Téo to be relaunched
Péladeau said he hopes to close the deal by the end of May and then to relaunch Téo Taxi, though he said there will be changes.
Taxelco was previously owned by businessman Alexandre Taillefer.
Taillefer's brainchild, Téo Taxi, was hailed as a model for the future of the industry. Its fleet was fully electric, and its drivers were paid by the hour, not by the fare.
Téo Taxi shut down in January.
Montreal's taxi industry has been in turmoil in the face of pressure from the multinational powerhouse Uber.
The province is proposing a series of changes under Bill 17, which would deregulate much of the industry.