Press Report : Christmas comes early for Phoenix Four Directors

Alun Thorne, Birmingham Post, 16th November, 2009

Vilified Phoenix Four Directors Peter Beale and John Edwards are in line for a massive multi-million pound Christmas bonus from the remnants of the Longbridge empire. The two former Longbridge bosses, who with fellow Directors John Towers and Nick Stephenson have already enriched themselves to the tune of around £9 million each, will be entitled to another huge cash windfall next month.

Liquidators recently appointed to MGR Capital Limited – MG Rover’s finance and lease loan book – revealed that another potential fortune would be available for shareholders Beale and Edwards after the 11th December, 2009. The date has been pencilled in by Liquidators Begbies Traynor for creditors to apply for compensation from MGR Capital, a solvent company boasting shareholder funds of £23,232,000 at the end of 2008.

There is a very large amount of money there and, however you cut it, that money came out of operations related to the Rover Group and associated companies. If there is going to be any positive legacy out of the Phoenix years, that money has got be put to socially beneficial uses. Part of that should be to the trust fund for former employees and part to a community development trust for the area.” Richard Burden MP

With only the Inland Revenue as a creditor, the vast majority of the £23 million plus sum will be available for potential share-out before Christmas between the two ex-Phoenix Directors and fellow shareholder HBOS. However, Richard Burden MP (Lab. Northfield) today reiterated calls for Beale and Edwards to hand over their millions to the trust fund for ex-employees and a community development trust in Longbridge.

Mr. Burden said: “There is a very large amount of money there and, however you cut it, that money came out of operations related to the Rover Group and associated companies. If there is going to be any positive legacy out of the Phoenix years, that money has got be put to socially beneficial uses. Part of that should be to the trust fund for former employees and part to a community development trust for the area.

“The idea that that amount of money should just go for personal gain is wrong. Ultimately history will judge them (the Phoenix Directors). There is a chance for Peter Beale and John Edwards to hand over large sums of money. If they do not do that, people will say that they were in it for what they could get. Their reputations are in their own hands now.”

The idea that that amount of money should just go for personal gain is wrong. Ultimately history will judge them (the Phoenix Directors). There is a chance for Peter Beale and John Edwards to hand over large sums of money. If they do not do that, people will say that they were in it for what they could get. Their reputations are in their own hands now.” Richard Burden MP

A spokesman for Phoenix Venture Holdings said he was unable to say whether the two ex-Directors would take the money after the 11th December, 2009. He said: “I do not know. We are not thinking that far ahead – they are not counting any chickens in terms of what might be in the fund. This was a loss-making company; it was a risk and it made profits because it was well-managed by HBOS and the Directors. During the lifetime of MG Rover, £23 million was paid or transferred from MGR Capital into the car-making operation.”

Liquidator Paul Stanley, of Begbies Traynor, said: “MGR Capital was a solvent company which has not traded for years. The creditors will get paid first, with interest, and if there is any money left over, it is available for shareholders. After the 11th December, money will be available.”

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Posted in: AROnline News, MG Rover
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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