Archive : Rover bid timetable

Rover bid timetable

After a turbulent two months of negotiations BMW has sold Rover to the Phoenix Consortium.

15 March
Reports appear tipping a little-known venture capitalist firm, Alchemy Partners, as favourites to buy Rover.

16 March
The BMW supervisory board agrees to break up Rover, selling Land Rover to Ford.

17 March
Alchemy managing partner Jon Moulton gives details of his plan to rebrand Rover and produce sports cars under the MG badge, which would result in massive job losses at the Longbridge factory in Birmingham. Opposition politicians accuse Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers of being “complacent” over the future of Rover. Government sets up task force to help regenerate the West Midlands

19 March
Some union officials call for a boycott of BMW cars.

22 March
Rover dealers say they will demand compensation from BMW. Birmingham businessman John Hemming says he is seeking partners to launch a rival bid for Rover.

23 March
Mr Byers meets BMW’s top management in Munich
Chris Woodwark, former chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motors, is named by Alchemy as chief executive of its planned MG Car Company.

25 March
Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee starts inquiry into the Rover sale.

28 March
BMW’s annual results show heavy losses at Rover, which cost the firm £2.85bn in the six years since it bought the British carmaker.

29 March
BMW official Werner Samann tells the select committee that unsuccessful efforts had been made to sell Rover to Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota.

1 April
Tens of thousands of people march in Birmingham to support the Rover workers.

5 April
After a two-hour grilling by the industry select committee, Mr Byers receives public backing from the Prime Minister for his handling of the crisis.

6 April
Presenting the outlines of a rival bid, the Phoenix consortium – headed by former Rover executive John Towers – meets with BMW.

13 April
The select committee clears Mr Byers over his role in the Rover sale.

17 April
Alchemy announces its plans for Rover, including using Longbridge to build a family of MG sports cars.

26 April
Mr Byers announces a £10m aid package to help Rover suppliers, after the Rover task force warns that the firm’s break-up could cost thousands of jobs in the West Midlands.

27 April
BMW says the Phoenix bid is “not financially backed”.

28 April
Alchemy issues a statement saying negotiations with BMW have ended.

2 May
Phoenix begins talks with BMW.
Alchemy indicates the “door is still open”.

5 May
Sales figures reveal that Rover has had its best month ever, selling more than 22,000 cars in April, with the Rover 25 the top-selling car, boosted by deep discounts.

8 May
Phoenix announces it has received a £200m financing facility from US regional bank First Union.

9 May
BMW says it is selling Rover to Phoenix for a symbolic £10. Phoenix says it will shift production of the Rover 75 to Longbridge and launch an estate version, but unions estimate that several thousand jobs will still be lost.

Keith Adams

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