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MG Rover sold

Stiff upper lip: MG Rover, the last British-owned car-maker, has fallen into Chinese hands.

Chinese company buys MG Rover, the world's last British-owned volume car-maker

12 Aug 2005

CHINESE car manufacturer Nanjing Automobile has won a bid to purchase the assets of the MG Rover Group and its engine producer Powertrain Limited.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said the Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation was chosen ahead of a bid from the Chinese auto giant Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and a consortium led by former Ford of Europe boss Martin Leach.

It made no mention of a third, last-minute bid from a British-based consortium known as Project Kimber.

The sale, believed to be worth as much as $230 million, concluded a three-month process following the collapse of MG Rover in early April.

Both Chinese car-makers planned to become joint-venture partners with MG Rover parent Phoenix Venture Holdings prior to the collapse of negotiations.

"(Nanjing) 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 the UK," joint administrator Tony Lomas said in a statement.

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