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Wednesday, 10 May, 2000, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
German press doubtful over Rover's future
BMW boss Milberg bolsers his position
Pleased: BMW boss Milberg
The German press has hailed BMW's sale of Rover - or "the English Patient" as some in Germany have called it - stressing both BMW's relief and the dubious outlook for Rover itself.

The Stuttgarter Zeitung sounded warning bells over the level of the BMW "dowry" to Rover - a loan of 500 million.

It said the sale to the Phoenix consortium was a new start for the British company. "But whether the tottering British carmaker can rise again from the ashes like the mythical phoenix is doubtful."



Rover - the grave of billions

Die Welt
"Nevertheless the BMW managers can breathe a sigh of relief. They've found a solution ahead of the annual general meeting next week and taken the edge off the shareholders' criticism."

Die Welt said the sale of Rover - "the grave of billions" - was a welcome development for BMW managers.

With the Phoenix deal in the bag, the head of BMW Joachim Milberg "was at least able to prevent the closure of Rover and bolster his own position".

But the paper also quoted Deutsche Bank expert Christian Breitsprecher: "Because BMW has loaned Phoenix 500m, BMW could be facing even more burdens if the consortium - which is financially weak - is unable to honour payments."

In the home of BMW, Munich, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the good news was that the whole episode was over for BMW.



The best news for weeks for the Labour government

Berliner Zeitung
But it quoted analysts who drew attention to the risky loan to Rover and the potential future burdens. "The negative thing is that BMW is taking its leave of Rover with a heavy financial commitment."

The Berliner Tageszeitung called the deal the "best news for weeks for the Labour government in Britain".

It draws attention to the "astonishing" recent sales figures for Rover cars, and adds "If things had always been like that, then there would never have been all those problems."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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