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Shanghai Auto: Never mentioned buying MG Rover
www.chinaview.cn 2005-04-12 01:41:59

    SHANGHAI, April 11 (Xinhuanet) -- The Shanghai Automotive IndustryCorp. (SAIC) finally responded to the bankruptcy of the British carmaker MG Rover on Monday after several days' silence, saying that it had never mentioned buying the company.

    A company spokesman refuted reports that SAIC would purchase MGRover and said it had "never mentioned the purchase."

    SAIC has been talking with MG Rover since last year about founding a joint venture in Great Britain, the spokesman said.

    Before that, SAIC spent 67 million pounds (about 113 million USdollars) introducing a technological platform from MG Rover.

    Analysts in Shanghai say SAIC has learned that MG Rover's financial situation was worse than it expected and fear that Phoenix Venture Holdings, the company that controls the British car manufacturer, may become bankrupt too within two years.

    That would put SAIC under a heavy financial burden, they say, as it would have to repay MG Rover's 427 million pounds of interest-free loan to BMW, its former owner.

    MG Rover has been struggling to break even since it was sold four years ago by Germany's BMW to four businessmen in central England.

    The British government has been making efforts to help the 100-year-old company reach an agreement with SAIC before the general election in May to prevent it from collapsing with the loss of several thousand jobs. Enditem

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