Volvo Cars

Zhejiang Geely bids for Manganese Bronze

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 December, 2012, 2:36am


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Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has submitted a bid to buy Manganese Bronze Holdings the maker of London's black taxis that is under creditor protection, two people familiar with the matter said.

Zhejiang Geely, which owns Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars, is offering to buy 80.03 per cent of Manganese Bronze, one of the people said, declining to say how much the company is offering for the stake. Both people asked not to be named as talks are private.

A purchase of the taxi maker will help Zhejiang Geely, the closely held carmaker headed by Li Shufu, speed up its overseas expansion.

Manganese Bronze, which has made taxis in Coventry, England since 1948, is fighting for survival after going into administration - a form of creditor protection - on October 30 after the tie-up with Geely Automobile Holdings failed to yield savings.

Geely Auto, the Hong Kong-traded unit of Zhejiang Geely, owns 19.97 per cent in the taxi maker.

The listed unit is not involved in its mainland counterpart's bid, one of the people said.

A Zhejiang Geely spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company is making the bid.

A London-based spokeswoman for Manganese Bronze's administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers, could not immediately comment on the bid.

Geely Auto and Manganese Bronze entered a taxi-making joint venture in 2006 in Shanghai to reduce costs of producing the iconic taxis.

Under the deal, the British manufacturer bought components and body parts from Geely before assembling them in Britain. Geely in return can sell the taxis in China and parts of Asia.