Zhejiang Geely reportedly bidding for London cab maker Manganese Bronze image

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has reportedly submitted a bid to by Manganeze Bronze Holdings, the company that makes London’s black cabs.

According to a Bloomberg report that quotes two people familiar with the matter, Zhejiang Geely is offering to buy 80.03 percent of Manganeze Bronze, which is currently under creditor protection. The unnamed sources declined to say how much the Chinese company is offering for the stake.

For Zhejiang Geely, which also owns Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, a purchase of the cab maker would help it speed its overseas expansion. Coventry-based Manganese Bronze is fighting for survival after going into administration on October 30 after the tie-up with Geely Automobile Holdings failed to generate savings.

Geely Auto, a unit of Zhejiang Geely listed on the Hong-Kong stock exchange, already owns 19.97 percent in the cab maker. According to one of the sources, Geely Auto isn’t involved in the bid. Zhejiang Geely declined to comment on whether the company is making the bid, while Manganese Bronze’s administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, couldn’t be contacted.

Geely Auto and Manganese Bronze started a joint venture in 2006 in Shanghai to reduce production costs of the famous taxis. Under the deal, Manganese Bronze bought components and body parts from Geely which were then assembled in the UK. In return, Geely got to sell the cabs in China and parts of Asia.