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BMW to respond to Towers bid by weekend

But the rival Towers bid for Rover Cars faces an Alchemy Partners on the public-relations offensive.

  • BMW says it not prepared to give the Towers offer, led by former Rover chief executive John Towers, more than a few days’ consideration but will comment on the bid by the end of the week.
  • Alchemy Partners will this week unveil detailed plans for new models and dealer arrangements that will keep production volume at up 100,000 cars a year.

BMW is still in exclusive negotiations with Alchemy Partners over the sales of its loss-making Rover Cars subsidiary. The German carmaker has a set a deadline of early May to finalise the Rover sale, leaving only a few days to consider the Towers proposal – codenamed “Phoenix”.

Phoenix has the backing of unions, suppliers and the British government, because unlike Alchemy, Towers plans to maintain Rover as a volume producer, potentially safeguarding thousands of jobs in the West Midlands region.

After weeks of bad press, Alchemy's Jon Moulton will this week give more detail about his firm's future plans for Rover. By announcing the possibility of new MG models and arrangements with other carmakers to soak up excess capacity at the Longbridge plant, Moulton hopes to persuade workers and local suppliers the private equity firm will go as far as it can to preserve jobs and supply contracts.