Iranian companies show interest in MG Rover

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The Independent Online

In a sign of how desperate the MG Rover situation has become, administrators are looking to Iran to rescue the stricken car-maker. Two Iranian companies yesterday emerged as unlikely saviours.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrators for MG Rover, said that they are examining expressions of interest in its assets received from 200 companies in the Middle East, India, South-east Asia, China and Russia, as well as the UK.

The Iranian embassy in London confirmed that officials in Iran are planning to hold talks about buying MG Rover's rights and remaining assets. The two Iranian companies are believed to be Iran Khodro and SAIPA, according to an Iranian news agency.

Proceeds from any sale would go to MG Rover's creditors, who include its 5,000 workers who have been made redundant, and, controversially, its former owners.

The Independent on Sunday revealed last week that the "Phoenix Four", who now face an inquiry into their running of the company, are MG Rover's biggest creditors.

MG Rover went into administration earlier this month after Chinese company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) scrapped plans to form a rescue joint venture with MG Rover. But SAIC could still block any attempted sale by PwC to another car company. It is also not clear who owns the rights to the Rover brand, which is still held by BMW.