[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
In profile: MG Rover's bidders
New Rover 75 model
The future of new Rover models still hangs in the balance
Three potential bidders have lined up to make an offer for stricken UK carmaker MG Rover.

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has set an October deadline for any deal for the firm.

PwC have also said that under the proposals set out by the prospective bidders all three groups plan to retain "at least some production in the UK".

But what else are the bidders offering?:

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC)

The Chinese carmaker has proposed a joint bid with ex-Ford of Europe chief Martin Leach for the whole of the MG Rover group.

While Mr Leach's vehicle Magma Holdings is involved in the offer, SAIC has confirmed it will fund the entire bid - which reports have suggested will be somewhere in the region of 60m.

The proposal contains plans to establish a manufacturing, distribution and research and development centre at Longbridge, with the eventual aim of producing 100,000 vehicles annually.

There will also be a parallel operation in Shanghai aimed at the Chinese market.

Mr Leach will be running the UK side of the operation, which as well as producing cars will develop new models.

But, despite reviving manufacturing at Rover's Longbridge site, the group will not be able to reinstate the 6,000 jobs that were in place at the site before Rover called in the administrators in April.

SAIC's proposal has already won backing from the TGWU union and is the front runner to win the battle for Rover among industry watchers.

Another detail in the group's favour is the fact that it bought the intellectual property rights for the Rover 25 and 75 engines during a previous attempt to takeover the carmaker.

If any other bidder wins the tussle for Rover, SAIC could block their use of these engines.

Nanjing Automotive Corp

PwC has confirmed that the Chinese state-owned car manufacturer plans to acquire all of the car and engine production assets of both MG Rover and Powertrain.

Longbridge plant
Can car production be revived at Longbridge?

However, while Nanjing is committed to build cars in the UK, it remains unclear whether the group will use Longbridge as its production facility.

One report has suggested it could use another site in the West Midlands.

The company has rejected any claims that SAIC's ownership of the rights to the Rover 25 and 75 engines will affect its plans.

However, Nanjing's bid could suffer from union objections - particularly from the TGWU which fears it will not maintain substantial production in the UK.

Kimber - consortium led by David James

David James - the corporate trouble-shooter who was called in by the government to revive the Millennium Dome - has been seen as a "white knight" bidder ready to rescue Rover's UK operations.

The offer has been an up and down affair - with him pulling out of the running on Monday 11 July only to return to the table four days later.

However, Mr James was reliant on SAIC for his original offer.

Under that proposal the Chinese group would have acquired Rover's profitable Powertrain engine-making division - with his consortium making cars in the UK under licence to SAIC.

He had also hoped the Chinese group would buy Rover's remaining assets a year later.

"We would have put them on our board and given them 25% of our new MG company as a gift," he explained.

But SAIC was not willing to commit.

Now Mr James appears poised to bid for the entire assets of MG Rover.

Administrators are understood to have given Mr James a couple of days to put forward a firm proposition.

But, like his first offer, his plans remain dependent on finding a buyer for Powertrain.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific