AM Online

Phoenix meets BMW on brink of deadline

John Towers, head of the Phoenix Consortium, met Rover Group chairman and chief executive Werner Samann this week to table details of his bid in a meeting arranged after Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. He phoned senior BMW executives in Munich in a last-ditch attempt to postpone Friday's deadline for Rover bids.

However, BMW said it was close to finalising the sale to Alchemy Partners. The venture capitalist intends to transform Rover into MG Car Company, a niche sportscar and saloon manufacturer producing less than 100,000 cars a year, while axing half the 8,500 jobs at Longbridge.

Former Rover chief executive Mr Towers plans to keep Rover as a volume carmaker with fewer redundancies, but said the current timetable did not give Phoenix enough time to get its financial backers to guarantee an overdraft.

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