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Geely Drops Plan to Buy Control of Manganese Bronze Holdings

Manganese Says Geely Drops Plan to Buy Control
A production line worker assembles an LTI taxi at the company's Manganese Bronze Holdings factory in Coventry, U.K. Photographer: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. won’t proceed with a plan to buy control of London black cab-maker Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today.

Geely Auto, the listed unit of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., withdrew from discussions with the U.K.-based taxi maker about buying a controlling stake, Manganese said earlier.

Manganese asked Geely in May to increase its stake in the company to 51.7 percent from the 19.97 percent it already owned and Geely said at the time it was considering the transaction. The automakers last year started a venture to make black cabs in Shanghai for Asian consumers.

Manganese shares today plunged as much as 22 percent to 35 pence, the biggest intraday decline since Jan. 26.

The company’s LTI Vehicles unit and its predecessor companies have made cabs for the London market since 1948, according to LTI’s Web site. Manganese said its venture with Geely would be unaffected by the Chinese company’s decision.

Geely’s executive director Lawrence Ang declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News by phone today.

Zhejiang Geely Holding completed the purchase of Volvo from Ford Motor Co. on Aug. 2.

Geely Automobile shares fell 0.75 percent to close at HK$2.66 in Hong Kong today, compared with a 0.16 percent fall in the Hang Seng Index.

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