NEW YORK TIMES
Published: March 6, 1986
The British Government today announced a list of bidders, including General Motors, for a large chunk of BL P.L.C., the nation’s biggest auto maker. General Motors is the leading contender for a takeover of BL’s commercial division, the truck and van manufacturing sector that also makes the Land-Rover jeep and Range Rover station wagon. G.M. was the only bidder offering to buy the money-losing truck division, as well as the profitable jeep and van sector.
The other bidders – Lonrho, a London-based conglomerate; Schroder Ventures, a group made up of Land-Rover’s management, and Aveling-Barford, a British engineering concern – made offers for all or part of the Land-Rover unit only. The sale represents about 35 percent of BL, the former British Leyland, which is 95 percent state owned. The plans for BL, which is Britain’s only surviving volume auto maker, have prompted concern about the sale of vital British industries to foreign companies.
Trade Minister Paul Channon also announced in Parliament that Graham Day, chairman of British Shipbuilders, would be BL’s new chairman.