[ROVERNET - UK] Rovers to be made in China?
R.Thornton at adelaidecitycouncil.com
Thu Jul 28 03:59:41 BST 2005
The following article appeared on the Pistonheads (TVR) site:
>MG Rover's sale to Nanjing Automobile was thought to be done and dusted last week -- but looks as if it may be turning into a bit of a farce.
On Friday last, the Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automobile went head-to-head with the other Chinese carmaker SAIC to buy what's left of MG Rover. Both owned by the Chinese government, SAIC is ten times the size of the other. Minnow Nanjing was declared the winner because it made an unconditional offer for the failed company's assets.
It now faces a legal challenge from SAIC, which reckoned it put in a higher offer, and said that disputes Nanjing's ability to make MG Rovers, given that SAIC had earlier bought the intellectual property rights for £67 million.
Nanjing's intentions are clouded in a bit of mystery however. The company had originally indicated it wanted to shift production to China, and re-exporting kits to the UK for final assembly. Last week, it said it said it would kick-start production of MG-badged cars at and near the original Longbridge site, including sports as well as small and medium sized cars.
According to one source, the company has been touting around London's financial centre trying to raise money to finance the deal. Nanjing denies this absolutely, saying that "the deal will proceed as planned".
There was also talk of Nanjing almost immediately offering to re-sell the rights, still shiny and with the label still attached, to the highest bidder, although this story has gone a little cold. This provoked rumours that swirled around the City yesterday that Nanjing didn't have the money to buy MG Rover after all, and that it may welsh on the deal. Nanjing said that was not its priority, and that it was looking to recruit managers. However, the company also said that it was "talking to people and if something comes out of it we would be foolish to ignore it".<
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