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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
'Two bidders vie' for Rover deal
MG TF sports car
Both bidders are reportedly hoping to restart production of MG cars
Two bidders are reportedly vying to buy the assets of MG Rover, which could see car production resume at its Longbridge plant in the Midlands.

According to newspaper reports, administrators are talking to Chinese firm Nanjing Automobile and a group lead by businessman David James.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Mr James had teamed up with Chinese firm Shanghai Automotive to make a bid.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has set an October deadline for reaching a deal.

'Exclusive talks'

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Nanjing Automobile had been awarded preferred bidder status, enabling it to conduct negotiations on an exclusive basis.

The Chinese firm reportedly wants to manufacture a range of models - including the MG sports car and possibly the Rover 75 saloon - at Longbridge, employing up to 2,000 staff.

However, the newspaper added that PwC was waiting to see whether Mr James - a corporate trouble-shooter who sorted out the finances of the Millennium Dome - could table an alternative bid in the next few days.

The newspaper claimed that Mr James's plans would also see production of both MG and Rover models resume at Longbridge.

Under the scheme, it is said that Rover would source engines for its models from partner Shanghai Automotive.

The Mail on Sunday reported Mr James as saying that a firm bid could be made within the next couple of days. Neither PwC nor Mr James could be reached for comment.

MG Rover collapsed in April with the loss of more than 5,500 jobs.

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