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Rover's talks with SAIC continue: BBC
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-04-05 10:22

British Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt said talks between MG Rover and China's biggest carmaker were the "only hope" for the British firm, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) reported on its Web site Monday.

British trade officials were in China for last-ditch talks with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) on a 1 billion pounds (US$1.88 billion) investment in Rover, the BBC reported.

"We want to see this deal succeed," said Hewitt on Sunday, adding it "really is the only hope for Rover and thousands of skilled workers in the West Midlands."

Under the proposed deal, the Chinese firm would inject cash into Rover to help it develop new models; in return it would secure rights to Rover's more advanced technology. The deal is expected to involve the creation of a new joint venture company 70 percent owned by SAIC, which could take time to set up.

The British Government said over the weekend it was ready to offer Rover a bridging loan to keep it afloat long enough to clinch the deal.

But British media have reported that SAIC was concerned about the state of Rover's pension fund.

Rover denied a newspaper report it had a 400 million pounds hole in its pension fund.

The BBC report cited a spokesman for the company as saying the figure was "completely misleading."

Source:Shenzhen Daily 
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