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Bunhill: Rumours roll in exalted circles

WHEN an adviser to a company tells you something about his client, logic suggests he knows what he is talking about. So when a man who works for Vickers told me last week that the Sultan of Brunei was looking to buy Rolls-Royce Motors - the company, not a couple of cars - I believed him.

His argument was that Vickers would not receive the funding it requested from the Government to develop a new Rolls model, and that the hard- up luxury car-maker would go to the highest bidder. BMW was one candidate, the Sultan another. And the world's richest man, who already has a stable of Rollers, should be in a position to find the readies.

Now, Sir Tim Bell acts for the Sultan, so he must be believed as well. The story is not true, said a colleague of Sir Tim: the Sultan likes the cars but not so much that he will buy the company. I will trust Sir Tim . . . for now.

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