UPDATE 1-London black cab maker appoints PwC as administrators

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:02am EDT

* PwC to look at options for rescue or sale

* Talks with interested parties have already been held

* Company's future unclear since recall, sales halt

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc, the maker of London's famous black taxis, said it has appointed accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers to look at options including the sale of the company if funding cannot be arranged to save it.

The future of the company, which has been losing market share to Mercedes Vito taxis sold by Eco City Vehicles, has looked bleak since it was forced to halt sales and recall its latest model as a result of a steering box defect.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, as administrator, has already begun talks with several interested parties from the United Kingdom and overseas, Manganese Bronze said.

"The administrators are reviewing the group's current financial position to develop a range of options to rescue the business or alternatively dispose of its assets to an investor that can secure the future of the London taxi," it said.

Coventry-based Manganese Bronze, whose taxis have been on British streets since 1948, has reported losses since 2008.

It suspended trading in its shares earlier this month after saying its financial position was unclear after the discovery of a safety defect in its new TX4 model.

The company's two largest shareholders, China's Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Toscafund Asset Management, were approached for funds earlier but no agreement was reached.

Manganese Bronze shares closed at 10 pence on Oct.11, the last day they traded on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the company at about 3 million pounds ($4.81 million).