Press Report : MGR Director paid lover £1.7m in consultancy fees
Jon Griffin, Birmingham Mail, 12th September, 2009
FIRMS linked to Phoenix Four Director Nick Stephenson’s Chinese lover Qu Li received nearly £1.7 million over a 15-month period for consultancy work, the report reveals. Dr Li, a former director of China’s National Automotive Industry Corporation, was hired by Phoenix as Longbridge bosses sought to seal a crucial joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.
The report says: “In the course of 2004, an intimate relationship arose between Dr Li and Mr Stephenson.When giving evidence, Dr Li and Mr Stephenson were inclined to play down the relationship. According to her, there was intimacy on an ‘intermittent occasional’ basis over maybe ‘a couple of months’ towards the end of the SAIC negotiations but this had come to an end by March 2005.
“Mr Stephenson told us that the relationship ‘was started in the early period of 2004 and was dead and buried probably towards the end of that year’. It is, perhaps, also noteworthy that the relationship was such that MG Rover engineers observed the closeness of the two on a trip to China.
In total, companies associated with Dr Li were paid (excluding reimbursement of expenses and payments made for the services of Mr Yuan and Mr Cameron) £1,692,794 for Dr Li’s services.” DBIS’ MG Rover Report
“In September 2004, SAIC paid £37 million for intellectual property rights relating to the Rover 75, Powertrain products and L series engines. This triggered the payment on September 16, 2004 of sums totalling £740,000, representing two per cent of the £37 million, to a Singaporean account with UBS in the name of China Ventures Industrial Limited (CVIL).
“CVIL, a company associated with Dr Li which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on June 29, 2004 had rendered invoices to MGRG and Powertrain for respectively £400,000 and £340,000. Both requests were dated 15 September 2004, were signed by Mr Stephenson by way of authorisation and were countersigned by Phil Sutton, MGRG Finance Controller working on business planning and analysis, to confirm finance concurrence.
“In total, companies associated with Dr Li were paid (excluding reimbursement of expenses and payments made for the services of Mr Yuan and Mr Cameron) £1,692,794 for Dr Li’s services.”
[Source: Birmingham Mail via Birmingham Post]