Rolls owners keen to join BMW bid

The head of BMW disclosed yesterday that he had been approached by a dozen wealthy Rolls-Royce owners keen to join the German group if it bids to buy the luxury car maker from Vickers. Michael Harrison examines the latest manoeuvrings.

Bernd Pischetsrieder, chairman of the German car maker, said it would make sense to bring Rolls and Bentley into its stable of models alongside Rover. He said that if BMW did succeed in taking control of Rolls then the cars would continue to be built in Britain and the marque would retain its separate identity.

BMW, he added, had been approached by a number of Rolls owners asking to be associated with any bid it might make. Mr Pischetsrieder ruled out bidding for Rolls' parent company, Vickers, other interests of which include Challenger tanks, the Cosworth engineering business and propulsion systems.

He also refuted reports that it was supporting Mayflower, the automotive engineering group which is expected to launch a pounds 1bn bid for Vickers in the next few days. "We have nothing to do with their bid. I have not had any discussions with them at all," he said at the CBI conference in Birmingham. "I have no interest in Vickers as a company. We are partners in terms of contracts."

BMW has close links with Rolls since it is supplying the new 12-cylinder engine that will power its next generation of luxury cars. But Mr Pischetsrieder said he was not interested in the Formula One engine manufacturer, Cosworth. Its engine had broken down in 28 out of 32 Grand Prix and in any case BMW was developing its own Formula One engine.

Apart from BMW and Mayflower at least four other car makers are thought to be contemplating bids for Rolls, which some analysts believe could fetch up to pounds 600m. These are Daimler Benz, which has retained the US bank J P Morgan to provide advice, Ford and Chrysler of the US and Fiat of Italy, which owns Ferarri.

Although BMW has retained HSBC Investment Bank to advise it, Mr Pischetsrieder said the bidding process for Rolls had not yet started in earnest. He also indicated that BMW may yet not bid because of its other commitments.

The heavily debt-financed Mayflower bid could come as early as today, although some City observers expect it to wait until later in the week. Mayflower will take on about pounds 650m in borrowings to fund the takeover attempt. Vickers' chairman, Sir Colin Chandler, yesterday issued a Stock Exchange statement urging Mayflower to clarify its intentions.

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines