Volkswagen joins bidders for Rolls-Royce cars
Saturday 15 November 1997
Reports from Germany yesterday suggested that VW had already made a bid and had all but won the contest. But a spokesman for parent company Vickers, which put Rolls up for sale three weeks ago, dismissed this as "nonsense".
BMW of German has already confirmed that it is interested in buying Rolls and, despite a denial yesterday, Daimler-Benz is also thought to be contemplating a bid.
All three main US car groups - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - are believed to be eyeing Rolls although, again, GM yesterday denied it was interested. The other possible bidder is Fiat of Italy, which owns Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.
Industry observers said they doubted whether any British bid would now emerge following the collapse of the planned pounds 1bn hostile bid for Vickers by the car components and engineering group Mayflower.
It was pointed out that only large car companies with deep pockets and specialist knowledge of the business were likely to bid. Since BMW bought Rover three years ago, Britain no longer has a UK-owned volume car maker.
Analysts estimates of Rolls' value range from pounds 250m to pounds 600m. It is reckoned to make profits of about pounds 21m a year. But any buyer would probably have to invest a further pounds 500m to renew the model range.
German press reports said that VW had made an informal offer that was likely to be accepted. But a Vickers spokesman said: "The deal is not done, that is wrong. The timetable goes well into next year and the deal may not be done until the spring."
He also pointed out that Lazards. Vickers financial advisers, had not yet sent out the Memorandum of Sale to interested parties and was still in the process of registering expressions of interest.
Another observer said: "There is a peculiar German dynamic to all this. BMW, VW and Daimler delight in tweaking each other's tails. In particular, VW likes the idea of taking the battle on to BMW's forecourts." BMW has been approached by a dozen wealthy Rolls owners asking to be included in any bid it decides to make.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...