UK: PwC confident Manganese Bronze will be sold as a viable business
Administrators handling London black cab producer, Manganese Bronze Holdings, say they remain hopeful the business will be sold as a going concern.
Discussions surrounding the bids that have now been received will continue this week and during the Christmas holiday period while all 401 taxis recalled for a steering box problem have been repaired and are back on the road.
The TX4 cab manufacturer is currently in administration after it was hit by the recall following problems with steering boxes supplied from China with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) evaluating bids that could total as many as 50 for the producer.
The joint administrators are now starting the second phase of the fix programme. More than 600 largely new and unregistered vehicles, which have come off the production line in Coventry in the UK Midlands region, will get the same new UK-supplied steering box fitted in place of a Chinese unit.
This phase of work will be completed at a faster rate than the first as the majority of vehicles are at a single location within a secure compound. The administrators expect that the second phase of the fix will be completed by late February which will conclude the replacement programme for all steering boxes.
The 12 production employees laid off from the Coventry plant at the end of October have now returned to full-time employment to assist with the ongoing operations of the business.
"I want to thank the company's employees who have been part of a massive effort to get all the vehicles repaired," said PwC partner and joint administrator, Matthew Hammond. "
"They have worked extremely hard to ensure the affected taxis were returned to their drivers as quickly as possible and back on the road before Christmas. It's been a tough time for all those affected so it's pleasing to have completed this phase of works on schedule.
"Throughout this process we have worked closely with the mayor and Transport for London to provide daily updates on the repairs. Our key suppliers have been enormously helpful and rallied to the cause of helping get the cabs back on the road.
"There's a great deal of goodwill towards this iconic vehicle and we are all committed to securing the best outcome for the company. Although it's too early to say definitively, we are hopeful we will sell the business as a going concern."