Taxi operator Mai Linh Group is seeking to sell more than 60 million shares to strategic investors to raise capital, the group's chairman Ho Huy told investors in the annual shareholders' meeting on May 21.

The shares, expected to sell for 10,000 each VND, will raise the company's charter capital from 1.017 trillion VND (48.2 million USD) to 1.618 trillion VND (76.7 million USD).

Huy said the company is negotiating with several prospective investors, including banks and organisations keen on the transportation sector. He refused to disclose specific information as the negotiations are ongoing.

Mai Linh Group, once one of Vietnam's major taxi operators, was on the brink of bankruptcy last year with total debts reaching trillions of Vietnamese dong.

The group suffered constant losses during 2007-12, except in 2010 when it posted a modest profit of 68 billion VND (3.2 million USD).

According to market insiders, the problems of Mai Linh Group can be attributed to its poor governance as well as irrational investment diversification, especially its involvements in real estate.

The group has undertaken a severe restructuring process to reduce debts, including selling cars, real estate projects and rest stops. However, its total debt remained nearly 4.7 trillion VND (222.7 million USD) by the end of 2013, of which short-term debt accounted for 2.075 trillion VND (98.3 million USD).

Huy said losses in rest stop services and long-distance transport (Mai Linh Express) made up the biggest proportion, with loss of rest stop services over 1 trillion VND (47.4 million USD) and loss of the latter over 200 billion VND (9.5 million USD).

However, the group returned to being profitable last year, with the after-tax profit of the whole group reaching 10.6 billion VND (502,400 USD), of which the parent company Mai Linh Group accounted for nearly 5 billion VND (237,000 USD).

Due to heavy debts, the group decided not to pay dividends. This is the seventh consecutive year Mai Linh Group has not made a dividend payout.

This year, the whole group set modest business targets, including 2.8 trillion VND (132.7 million USD) in total revenue.-VNA