Matthew Hammond, Tony Barrell, Ian Green and Mike Jervis were appointed joint administrators of Manganese Bronze Holdings plc, LTI Limited, MBH Services Limited and MBH Property Services Limited (“the Group”) on 30 October 2012.
The Group is the manufacturer and retailer of the iconic London taxi, sold in the UK and abroad. It provides a retail and maintenance service through its wholly-owned dealerships throughout the UK, under the trading name The London Taxi Company. It has a turnover of £75m and 277 employees in total including three overseas employees. 175 employees are based at the Group’s head office and manufacturing site located in Coventry with the remaining employees spread across dealerships in London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Coventry.
The culmination of several issues led to the Group being placed into administration. The Group has been making losses for four years due to a combination of poor UK sales, supply chain issues, and high warranty costs. These issues were further impacted by the discovery of material accounting errors in the first half of 2012 which increased the extent of the Group’s losses. More recently, the discovery of a steering fault resulted in the recall of circa 400 vehicles and a suspension of sales which had an immediate detrimental impact on the Group’s cash flows.
Following a suspension of its shares earlier this month, the Group has been unable to secure sufficient funding. Without financial support to overcome these operational issues, the Group came to the conclusion that it could not continue to trade as a going concern. As a result the directors placed the Group into administration. LTI Limited is concentrating all its resources on fixing the steering fault. The administrators have entered into discussions with key stakeholders to secure funding to support the business through this period whilst the administrators seek a sale of the business and assets as a going concern
Matthew Hammond, joint administrator and PwC partner, said:
“Our immediate priority is to secure funding in order to explore the options rapidly developed by the Management team and key suppliers to resolve the steering box recall. We are reviewing the existing financial position to develop a range of options to rescue the business or alternatively dispose of it to an investor that can continue the business to a secure future for the iconic London Black Cab. We have immediately commenced discussions with an encouraging list of UK and International interested parties and would encourage any further interested parties to contact us as a matter of urgency.”