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Manganese Bronze calls in administrators

22/10/2012

From BBC News

Manganese Bronze, the maker of London’s black cabs, has called in administrators Grant Thornton after saying it is no longer a going concern.

The appointment follows the suspension of its shares earlier this month, after a fault with the vehicle’s steering box led to over 400 of them being recalled.

Manganese Bronze, which is based in Coventry, had been trying to source new funding, but negotiations failed.

The company has made losses for the past four years.

Manganese Bronze, which employs 300 people, earlier this month also stopped sales of its new TX4 model.

The problem affects the vehicles’ power steering and arose in a new design for the box, sourced from an unnamed new supplier since February.

The company said it had not put anyone in danger but "in extreme cases, it could affect the ability to steer the steering wheel".

It said in a statement that "the Board remains hopeful that the fundamental strengths of the company, the TX4 model and its global reputation will provide the platform for a successful business in the future".

Chinese partner

The supplier of the part was a Chinese firm introduced by Manganese’s Chinese partner, Geely.

Manganese and Geely signed a joint venture agreement in 2006 and own a factory in Shanghai that produces taxis for the international market.

The company was already in some financial difficulty before the latest problem emerged.

Sales have been in decline – the Coventry-based firm sold 1,502 taxis in the UK last year, compared with 1,653 in 2010, a fall of 9.1%.

In January, Manganese Bronze had to issue a profit warning, saying that it had made no profit in 2011 and could fall short of expectations this year.

The group blamed the weak UK economy, uncertainty over the global economic outlook and a delay in fulfilling an order for 1,000 taxis from Azerbaijan.

For the first six months of 2012, Manganese Bronze recorded an operating loss of £3.1m on revenues of £34.3m.

Then in August, it discovered an accounting error had caused it to understate past losses by a total £4.25m.

The company’s shares were last quoted on the stock exchange at 10 pence each, down from 35p a year ago.

Much of the company’s shares are closely held: Geely owns 20%, while another quarter is owned by UK asset manager Toscafund.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20031436

Monday 22 October, 2012
Manganese Bronze.

Notice of intention to appoint administrators

RNS Number : 2155P

Manganese Bronze Hldgs PLC

22 October 2012

Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC

Notice of intention to appoint administrators

22 October 2012

Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC (the "Group"), the manufacturer of the world famous London taxi, today announces that discussions with various parties to secure funding on acceptable terms to address the Group’s financial needs have proved unsuccessful. The Board has therefore concluded that the Group is no longer a going concern and has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators.

A speedy resolution of the product recall announced on 12 October 2012 relating to the discovery of a steering box fault remains the top priority for the Group and will continue to do so throughout the administration process.

The Board remains hopeful that the fundamental strengths of the company, the TX4 model and its global reputation will provide the platform for a successful business in the future.

A further announcement will be made in due course.

For further information, please contact:

Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC

John Russell, Group Chief Executive

Tel: +44 (0) 24 7657 2108

Peter Johansen, Group Finance Director

Tel: +44 (0) 24 7657 2214

FTI Consulting

Nick Hasell

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7269 7291

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Philip Secrett/Melanie Frean

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 5100

This information is provided by RNS

The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

END

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