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Phoenix signs deal with BMW

The Phoenix Consortium has signed a deal with BMW to pay a 'symbolic' £10 for the acquisition of Rover Cars and the Longbridge plant, raising dealer hopes of a brighter future.

The agreement, which followed “intense negotiations” between John Towers, head of Phoenix, and BMW executives, means the consortium takes responsibility for the development, production and distribution of Rover Cars, including the 25 and 45 and it will also make 75.

Joachim Milberg, BMW chairman, said the deal would save “thousands of jobs” at Longbridge and in Rover's dealer network. He said. “Rover customers can be certain that they will continue to receive the expected high quality of customer service.”

Phoenix announced on Monday that it had secured £200m worth of funding from Burdale Financial, a British unit of US bank First Union in addition to the £500m expected from BMW. However, First Union said its offer of financial backing was conditional and subject to “due diligence” over the Phoenix five-year business plan.

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