Black cab firm on brink as it seeks bail out

Michael Bow
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LONDON black cab maker Manganese Bronze will seek an emergency cash bail out from its Chinese partners this week as it battles to stay alive.

The Aim-listed firm was forced to suspend its shares on Friday after recalling 400 of its cabs due a fault with the steering box on its new black cab model.

The firm will seek to strike a deal with Chinese firm Geely International Corporation, which owns 20 per cent of the firm, today to obtain a short term bridging facility to help keep the firm solvent. It estimated it costs around £1m a month to keep the firm going

Chief executive John Russell told City A.M. yesterday: “We are in a very tough spot. We’ve had to stop selling vehicles and that means our revenue streams have dried up. No company can survive losing revenue.

“At this stage it’s very difficult to predict how long this will go on for but we appear to have a relatively straightforward engineering problem, but you never know.”

The firm, based in Coventry, employs around 180 people on site in its manufacturing division and builds around 10 cars a day over a four day working shift pattern.

“We won’t rule out any option,” Russell said. “In the immediate term we need to find a facility to keep us going.”