Confusion reigned over the
future of Rover today as venture capitalists Alchemy Partners claimed
they were not out of the running.
Boss Jon Moulton said the firm
which pulled out of negotiations to buy Rover from BMW had set out its
terms to return to the negotiating table.
The investors pulled out from
sales talks last week when it became clear that BMW would not pay for
the redundancies at the Longbridge plant.
A rival bid, headed by former
Rover executive John Towers was due to begin talks with BMW in London
The consortium has spent the
weekend pouring over Rover’s accounts after BMW finally gave them
access to the books.
It is thought that the plug
might be pulled on the Longbridge plant if Phoenix cannot convince BMW
that they have the necessary funds to buy the firm.
The Munich-based owners have
confirmed that full closure is being considered if a quick sale cannot
Phoenix supporter John
Hemmings likened the negotiations to finishing the purchase of a
He dismissed Alchemy’s
claims that they were back in the frame.
Speculation has been rife over
the future of Rover following the collapse of the sale to Alchemy.
It has been suggested that the
production of the Mini will be moved to Germany instead of the Cowley
plant in Oxford.
The news that the entire Rover
operation in Britain could be closed, with the loss of tens of
thousands of jobs, has quelled euphoria at Alchemy’s decision to
Workers had favoured the
Phoenix bid as it would lead to a continuation of mass car production,
and fewer job losses.
Roger Lyons, General Secretary
of the MSF union, said the Government should help the Phoenix bid come
"The government now has
the opportunity to encourage round table discussions with BMW,
including the Towers/Phoenix consortium but excluding Alchemy."
"I can see light at the
end of this dark tunnel."