Sun, Apr 24, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Administrators get in excess of 200 offers for MG Rover

AP , LONDON

More than 200 companies have shown an interest in buying parts of the collapsed car company MG Rover Ltd, administrators said yesterday.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it is evaluating all expressions of interest for the last major British-owned automaker.

"Interest has been expressed by potential buyers from southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, Russia and China as well as from the United Kingdom," said joint administrator Tony Lomas. "We have had over 200 expressions of interest and we will be looking at all of these."

The Iranian Embassy said two Iranian car firms -- identified in news reports as Iran Khodro and SAIPA -- are holding talks over their interest in buying parts of the business.

MG Rover Group Ltd collapsed April 8 following its failure to form a joint venture with China's state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.

Administrators sent layoff notices to more than 5,000 of the 6,100 employees of the company, and said production at the company's factory in central England would continue only until some 1,000 cars already on the production line are finished.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Friday its administrators have been appointed to run MG Rover Exports Ltd, a company that acts as a purchasing unit between MG Rover UK and dealers networks worldwide, including eight European subsidiaries placed into bankruptcy protection this week.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said it had closed two more British Rover dealerships, bringing the total to five, after it took control of Phoenix Venture Motors Ltd, a sister company of MG Rover that operates the dealerships.

The administrator said it launched a sales campaign for Rover cars at the dealerships, offering discounts to the standard prices for the vehicles. Discounts are also on offer for servicing and repairs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has also taken over administrator duties for several other Rover companies, including Phoenix Venture Motors Ltd and MG Sports and Racing Ltd, which produces the "MG SV" high-performance vehicle.

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