Manganese Bronze seals biggest London taxi order

LONDON Thu Mar 3, 2011 1:26pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Manganese Bronze MNGS.L, maker of London's traditional black cabs, said it had agreed an order for 1,000 taxis with a company in Azerbaijan, sending its shares up nearly 50 percent on Thursday.

The company, which has struggled with falling sales and market share, said the deal was the single largest contract it had received for its London taxi.

The $27 million deal will see 1,000 TX4 London cabs supplied by Shanghai LTI -- Manganese Bronze's joint venture partner with Chinese car manufacturer Geely Automobile Holdings -- to private Azerbaijani firm, the Baku Taxi Company, in 2011.

The Baku Taxi Company had been set up to develop a program originally announced by the Transport Ministry of Azerbaijan to introduce London cabs into Azerbaijan's capital city, Baku.

Shares in Manganese Bronze, which had fallen from a high of 240 pence per share in June 2006, were up 49 percent to 55 pence at 1552 GMT (10:52 a.m. EST) on Thursday, valuing the business at around 17 million pounds.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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