Ludgate is called in to assist Phoenix bid

The Phoenix consortium has brought Ludgate Communications on board to assist with its last ditch attempt to buy the German car giant BMW’s loss-making UK arm, Rover.

The Phoenix consortium has brought Ludgate Communications on board

to assist with its last ditch attempt to buy the German car giant BMW’s

loss-making UK arm, Rover.



Ludgate was drafted in late last Thursday, as the acquisition talks

broke down between BMW and venture capitalist firm Alchemy, which had,

until then, been the Germans’ preferred bidder.



The consortium is led by John Towers, the former Rover chief executive

who now heads Birmingham automotive parts manufacturer Concentric. He

was introduced to Ludgate through Phoenix’s lead financial advisers

Albert E Sharp Securities, another Ludgate PR client.



The Ludgate account is headed by main board director Richard Hews, and

consists of a hastily-assembled four-strong team. It is handling all

press and broadcasting enquiries, as well as controlling access to

Towers, Phoenix finance director Peter Beale, special projects director

Nick Stephenson and the consortium’s remaining two directors, Midlands

businessmen Terry Whitmore and Brian Parker.



BMW has pencilled in the end of the month for concluding a deal on the

beleaguered Rover subsidiary, known as ’the English Patient’ to its

German parent company, after losing more than pounds 2 million pounds

per day.



Ludgate’s crisis brief is ongoing. Fees for the work are not known, but

if Phoenix succeeds in taking over Rover, Ludgate’s fees will

increase.



An estimated 11,000 jobs depend directly on the outcome of the talks

taking place this week at the offices of BMW’s UK lawyers Norton and

Rose.



The Phoenix bid is supported by the major trade unions at Longbridge

since it pledges to maintain volume car production and limit job

losses.



BMW is reported to be preparing to dismantle the site and lay off the

workforce in case the bid fails.



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