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London taxi maker bought by Chinese for £11m
The maker of London’s iconic black cabs, Manganese Bronze, has been sold to Chinese car manufacturer Geely for £11.4m.
The deal ends months of speculation surrounding the debt-ridden company, which went into administration last October with the loss of 99 jobs.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the administrators put in charge of finding a buyer for the beleaguered company, agreed the deal overnight. It will safeguard the jobs of those remaining at the company with Geely, the firm’s largest creditor, saying it will continue to assemble the TX4 in the West Midlands.
It’s the first bit of positive news for Manganese Bronze as there were fears the company would be broken up or see production moved to China. TX4s are assembled from kits made in China which are then shipped across the world.
Geely, which also owns Volvo Cars, already owned a 20 per cent stake in Manganese Bronze. The company was plunged into difficulties last year with the discovery of a major steering fault which halted production and led to a severe cash flow crisis. More than 400 taxis had to be recalled.
The company hasn’t made a profit since 2007 and made a loss of £3.6million in the first half of 2012.
The news this morning will thus be a welcome relief for the 107 employees at the Coventry plant. It also ensures the iconic black cab lives on to fight another day.
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