Can the MG GT Concept be revived by Nanjing?
1st August, 2005
The joint administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers* have announced the sale of the assets of both MG Rover Group and its engine producer, Powertrain Limited to Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation. The sale concludes a three month process following the collapse of MG Rover in early April. Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation was one of the two Chinese groups that had planned to become joint venture partners with Phoenix Ventures, prior to the collapse of negotiations.
Tony Lomas, joint administrator, said on Friday 29th July, 2005: “In early June I reported to the creditors that there were no viable bidders for the business as a going concern. As a result, plans had been put in place for a break-up sale, unless a bidder pre-empted that process before it could be completed. SAIC had offered to buy the engine plant for relocation to China, so negotiations were underway to sell those assets separately."
“Whilst we have been negotiating with Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation we have been aware of Martin Leach’s interest in the car production assets, although no bid has ever been made by Mr Leach."
“Until late last week SAIC had offered to acquire only the Powertrain assets. On Monday of this week SAIC submitted a conditional bid for all of the MG Rover and Powertrain assets. However the level and conditionality of SAIC’s bid left Nanjing’s bid as the preferred way forward."
“Nanjing will now begin to take control of the assets and develop its plans for the future. It has indicated its intention to relocate the engine plant and some of the car production plant to China, to retain some car production plant in the UK and to develop an R & D and technical facility here in pursuit of the same global expansion ambition that it had when it joined with SAIC as the intended joint venture partners to Phoenix Venture Holdings before the collapse of MG Rover."
“For a transition period a residual workforce will continue to be employed by MG Rover Group and Powertrain, assisting the Administrators as they have for the last three and a half months. In the meantime Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation intends to begin to hire staff to assist it in implementing and developing its strategy.”
* On Friday 8th April 2005, Ian Powell, Tony Lomas and Rob Hunt were appointed joint administrators of MG Rover Limited, while Tony Lomas, Rob Hunt and Steven Pearson were appointed joint administrators of Powertrain Limited. Steven Pearson and Rob Hunt were appointed joint administrators of MG Sport and Racing Limited on 12 April. Tony Lomas, Rob Hunt and Steven Pearson have also been appointed joint administrators to eight European subsidiaries of MG Rover Group Limited.