China's Geely buys London Black Cab manufacturer

China
# 02 February 2013 13:22 (UTC +04:00)

Baku – APA. Chinese carmaker Geely announced Friday it has acquired Manganese Bronze Holdings (MBH), manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab, for 11.04 million British pounds (17.44 million U.S. dollars), Xinhua reported.

The acquisition covers the business and principal assets of MBH.

The deal, which will safeguard production of one of the most distinctive vehicles in the UK, has been agreed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, who were appointed administrators of the business in October 2012, according to a Zhejiang Geely Holding Group press release.

The acquisition was carried out through Geely UK Limited, a subsidiary of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and included plant, equipment and property, intellectual property rights, trade marks and the goodwill of the business, it said.

It also includes MBH's 48 percent stake in the joint venture manufacturing company in Shanghai set up by Geely and MBH in 2009 and MBH's stock of unsold vehicles.

Geely's priority will be to re-establish the manufacture, sale and servicing of new and current vehicles on broadly the same basis as existed before the business went into administration. This will include the continued assembly of the TX4 at MBH's existing Coventry plant in the West Midlands, the statement added.

Geely has pledged to involve the current workforce as much as possible as it develops plans to ensure MBH has a long-term profitable future, enabling the business to expand and support employment opportunities.

Geely intends to use its extensive knowledge and experience in the automotive sector to maximize synergies and develop commercial opportunities for the London taxi, it said.

"We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of MBH's business and we are determined to restore the fortunes of this totemic marque which is known, recognized and admired all around the world," said Li Shufu, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group chairman.

"We are a long-term and committed investor and we believe the illustrious past of the London Black Cab can be matched by a successful and healthy future," said Li.

Boris Johnson, mayor of London said, "I am delighted that Geely has successfully secured the future of the London Taxi Company, ensuring the continuing manufacture of a world famous, fully accessible and instantly recognizable vehicle synonymous with London."

Geely, a major Chinese auto manufacturer, acquired Volvo Cars during the heyday of the country's auto market in 2010, when overall car sales jumped by 32 percent from a year earlier.

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