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UK CONSORTIUM BUYS ROVER PLANT FROM BMW FOR A TENNER

News, 10 May 2000


The recently formed ‘Save Rover’ consortium of dealerships, key suppliers and other well-wishers, has managed to secure the short-to-medium term future of one of the most famous names in UK car manufacturing.

BMW of Germany yesterday agreed to sell the loss-making carmaker to the Phoenix Consortium for a nominal £10 ($15.40). The deal also involves a £500m cash payment by BMW to Phoenix; it is expected to preserve around 8,000 jobs at Rover's Longbridge, West Midlands, assembly plant plus up to 19,000 at suppliers.

Consortium head and former Rover chief executive John Towers claimed that Phoenix will manufacture around 200,000 cars annually, retaining the Rover, MG and Mini brands and reviving classic marques such as Austin, Morris and Wolseley. He declined to be drawn on the financial aspects of the deal, although he forecast that Rover's ongoing losses would be considerably less than the £2m a day alleged by BMW.

Towers also revealed that Phoenix has spoken with Honda, a Rover partner prior to its takeover by BMW, about licensing agreements and a possible equity stake in the Rover company.

Sourced from: Financial Times