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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
MG Rover denies Chinese takeover
Rover's CityRover model
Can MG Rover stay independent?
MG Rover has denied speculation that it is to be taken over by China's largest automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

A report by Automotive News Europe quoted UK and Chinese sources as saying SAIC would take over Rover.

But speaking to BBC WM, MG Rover chairman John Towers denied that SAIC was set to buy the carmaker.

In June this year, MG Rover signed a technology-sharing agreement with the Chinese firm.

'Strategic relationship'

"SAIC will buy MG Rover," a source in China told Automotive News Europe.

"When the announcement is made depends on the progress of the negotiations, hopefully (it will be) in a few months."

MG Rover announced on 16 June that it was seeking "a far-reaching strategic relationship" with SAIC.

"We have already made it clear that we are in major collaboration with Shanghai Auto," Mr Towers told BBC WM.

"But I have to say that within those discussions there has been absolutely no discussion at all about an equity stake or an acquisition of the business.

"It's very flattering to think people believe that maybe that would be the case, but it's not the case."

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