London black cabs in Shanghai

Shanghai, October 25:

London’s iconic black cab will soon cruise the streets of China after the specialty British carmaker agreed to a Chinese joint venture in Shanghai, a statement said on Wednesday.

China’s Geely Holding Group and Britain’s Manganese Bronze Holdings, inked the agreement Tuesday to assemble the famed TX4 London black cab in Shanghai, a statement from the Chinese manufacturer said. “This is a new page in Sino-foreign joint venture cooperation,” Geely said.

According to the terms of the deal, Zhejiang province-based automaker Geely will hold a 51 per cent stake in the Sino-British venture, while Manganese will hold 48 per cent. Huapu, a small Geely subsidiary, will take a one per cent stake.

Manganese Bronze agreed earlier this month to the 53-million-pound (99-million-dollar) price with the Chinese automaker to produce the black cab in eastern China. Manganese, which makes the cabs through its London Taxis International subsidiary, will also transfer technology as well as intellectual property rights, the statement said without providing further details.

The British firm will issue 30 per cent new common stock to Geely at 2.5 pounds per share.

Geely, the seventh largest car company in China by sales volume, producing about 250,000 vehicles a year, will also purchase 23 per cent of the new issue.

The first black cabs are expected to roll off the Shanghai production line in mid-2008 with taxi firms, hotels and private limousine companies in China the likely market.