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2012-10-31 09:29

IN DIRE NEED OF HELP: The makers of the famous London black taxis, which have been around since 1948, have appointed accountants to look into solutions for its declining business.

  Gallery

2012 Nissan NV200 London taxi

LONDON, England - Manganese Bronze Holdings, maker of London's famous black taxis, has appointed accountants to look at options including the sale of the company if funding cannot be arranged to save it.

The future of the company, which has been losing market share to Mercedes Vito taxis sold by Eco City Vehicles, has looked bleak since it was forced to halt sales and recall its latest model as a result of a steering-box defect.

'RESCUE THE BUSINESS'

The administrators have already begun talks with several interested parties from the UK and other countries. Manganese Bronze said: "The administrators are reviewing the group's financial position to develop a range of options to rescue the business or dispose of its assets to an investor that can secure the future of the London taxi.”

Manganese Bronze, whose British-built taxis have been on British streets since 1948, has reported losses since 2008. It suspended trading in its shares earlier in October 2012 fter saying its financial position was unclear after the discovery of the defect in its latest TX4 model.

The company's two largest shareholders, China's Geely Automobile Holdings and Toscafund Asset Management, were approached for funds but no agreement was reached.

October 11, 2012 was the last day it traded on the London stock exchange, valuing the company at the equivalent of about R41.6-million.

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