£16m report on demise of MG Rover to be published

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More than four years and £16m later, the official report into the demise of Britain's last indigenous car maker, MG Rover, will be published on Friday.

Having referred the report last month to the Serious Fraud Office, who decided to take no action, the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, will release the inspectors' 850 pages of findings in a few days. Attention will centre on the financial benefits enjoyed by the so-called Phoenix Four, the group of businessmen who bought MG Rover from BMW for £10 in 2000. The actions of successive secretaries of state, including Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers, will also be scrutinised.

The inquiry is thought to have cost £16.3m. It was conducted by the accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward and the government-appointed inspectors Guy Newey QC and the accountant Gervase MacGregor.

MG Rover collapsed amid bitter allegations of asset-stripping in the spring of 2005, with the loss of 6,500 jobs directly. With political support, the Phoenix Four beat the private equity group Alchemy, headed by Jon Moulton, to the deal with BMW.