PricewaterhouseCoopers has just three days to find a buyer for the Longbridge-based MG Rover group before splitting it up for asset sales, but Chinese consortium SAIC’s procurement of the property rights to the 27 and 75 make a full buyout unlikely.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has just three days to find a buyer for the Longbridge-based MG Rover group before splitting it up for asset sales, but Chinese consortium SAIC’s procurement of the property rights to the 27 and 75 make a full buyout unlikely.


Jon Moulton, the head of Alchemy venture capital group, on Tuesday pulled out of buying the MG sports car operation, leaving administrators of the collapsed MG Rover group with few prospects of reviving any activity at Longbridge.


Some expectation has been raised that Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which ruled out buying MG Rover as a going concern but expressed interest in some assets, could establish a research, development and engineering centre at Longbridge – a move which would save at least 1 000 jobs. But so far, SAIC has asked to buy only tooling for the Rover 25 and 75, the series K and L engines and some R&D equipment. SAIC previously said it did not want to employ anyone directly in England.


SAIC reportedly already owns the intellectual property rights to the 25, the 75 and the two engines, but has not yet decided whether to build them. SAIC’s licence makes it difficult for other bidders, such as Iran, to use Longbridge’s production equipment.


Newspapers quoted a senior Iranian minister as saying that the country was no longer interested in buying MG Rover because “key brand rights have already been sold and it is not interested in the carmaker's technology alone”.


"Iran has cancelled (its interest in) the purchase of Rover, because its licence is already bought by the Chinese," Minister of Industries and Mines Es-haq Jahangiri was quoted as saying.


In similar vein, Moulton said Alchemy had not made a proposal for MG Rover because of “problems with intellectual property rights, supplies and warranties”.

Original article from Car