Published on February 6th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Geely Rescues The Iconic London Black Cab Manufacturer From Closure
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has agreed to purchase Manganese Bronze Holdings, rescuing the maker of London’s iconic black taxis after the company entered helloistration last year. Zhejiang Geely will pay 11.04 million pounds (12.8 million euros) to buy Manganese Bronze on a debt-free basis, the Chinese automaker said. Geely Automobile Holdings, the Hong Kong-traded unit of Zhejiang Geely, already owned a 20 percent stake in Manganese following a 2006 joint-venture deal under which the UK company bought China made components and body parts.
The purchase will help Zhejiang Geely, the closely held automaker headed by Li Shufu, speed up its expansion following the purchase of Volvo Cars in Sweden. London has almost 23,000 licensed taxis. About 1,400 new ones are registered each year, according to Manganese Bronze, a market worth about 50 million pounds annually.
Prior to the helloistration, the automaker had 274 workers. It now employs 107 people. The stock was suspended Oct. 11. The latest crisis followed a succession of shocks, including a 4,400 car recall after engine fires in 12 TX4s, threatening to overwhelm a company that hasn’t posted a profit since 2007. The business suffered a pretax loss of 3.6 million pounds in the first half of 2012 as revenue dropped 11 percent.