* Manganese Bronze, Geely meeting today - Manganese Bronze
* Company seeking funding following recall
Oct 15 Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc is
in talks with China's Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd to
raise additional funds, according to a company spokesman, as the
struggling maker of London's iconic taxis seeks a lifeline
following a recall that cast doubt on its financial position.
The Sunday Times reported that executives from Geely, which
owns a 20 percent stake in Manganese Bronze, were set to fly
into Britain on Monday for emergency talks that may lead to a
bailout of the Coventry-based company.
"Whether they are meeting in Coventry or in London I'm
unaware, but they are meeting today," a Manganese Bronze
spokesman told Reuters on Monday.
He declined to specify what Geely might get in return for
throwing Manganese Bronze a lifeline but said the Chinese
company wouldn't necessarily take a higher stake in Manganese
Bronze in exchange for the funding.
"A lot of options, as you imagine, would be discussed and we
can't be more specific at this stage," the spokesman said.
Earlier on Monday, a senior executive at Geely said he was
unaware of talks on a possible cash infusion into Manganese
Geely, whose parent company also owns Swedish car maker
Volvo, n ow holds roughly 20 percent of Manganese Bronze, worth
610,000 pounds ($981,300), according to Reuters calculations
based on the British company's closing price of 10 pence per
share on Oct. 11, its last trading day.
Manganese Bronze, which has been reporting losses since
2008, suspended trading in its shares on Friday, saying its
financial position was unclear after it discovered a safety
defect in its new TX4 model that led to a recall and halt in
Friday's news of the recall is the latest in a spate of
issues that have plagued the taxi maker at a time when rival Eco
City Vehicles, which sells the Mercedes Vito taxi, has
been gaining market share.
In August, the company disclosed that a combination of
system and procedural errors had led to a 3.9 million pound
understatement of historical losses going back several years.
Last month, the company said losses for the first half had
widened and that it would not return to profit in the second
Manganese Bronze's shares had lost more than two-thirds of
their value since the beginning of the year to Oct. 11, the last
trading day before the stock was suspended.