PwC puts black cabs back on the road

by Rachael Singh

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24 Jan 2013

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PWC ADMINISTRATORS to collapsed black cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze say they have overseen the completion of the repair works needed in many of the cars.

Manganese Bronze entered insolvency in November last year after it faced a number of issues in recent years. Most recently, it had to recall cabs after a steering fault was discovered that saw it suspend sales and repair the fault, which caused severe cash-flow problems.

Matthew Hammond, Tony Barrell, Ian Green and Mike Jervis, all in the restructuring division at PwC, were appointed joint administrators.

The administrators had earlier said the repairs would be completed by early 2013. The last remaining vehicles are currently being fixed at a rate of about 20 a day.

"There continues to be speculation about the future of the Coventry-based manufacturer of the iconic London black cab. During the course of the administration, we have carried out extensive dialogue with numerous domestic and international interested parties," said the administrators.

"Whilst the conclusion of the administration with a successful sale is not guaranteed, our entire efforts are focused on rescuing this UK business to give it a long-term future and I am very encouraged with the progress made in just the last two weeks."

As well as having to repair recalled cabs, Manganese Bronze also had more than 500 new unregistered vehicles in stock that needed to be fixed.

The administrators are working closely with the London mayor, Transport for London, Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and the Vehicle Certification Agency.

Manganese Bronze discovered a £3.9m accounting black hole last August. The company put the hole down to a failure to transfer a number of transactions into a new IT system, causing the business to overstate stock and underestimate liabilities.

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