SAIC brings in Cardew as it ponders MG Rover deal

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), under pressure to proceed with its joint venture with MG Rover, has drafted in the Cardew Group.

Cardew chairman Anthony Cardew will lead the account, which also has a significant public affairs element for Nigel Clark, head of the firm’s political division.

Cardew is thought to have fought off Financial Dynamics and Hill & Knowlton, which works for SAIC in Korea, for the work.

Rover, which was bought by Phoenix Ventures from BMW for just £10 in 2000, revealed it was in talks with SAIC last November.

SAIC is considering whether to invest more than £1bn in the UK firm through a deal some believe would give SAIC a stake of near

70 per cent.

A successful deal could mean thousands of job losses at Longbridge-based Rover, but it would also secure the future of what is the UK’s last independently owned car manufacturer.

However, SAIC needs the blessing of its owner, the Shanghai city government, before it can proceed. The company, China’s largest car maker, was also angered by Rover’s announcement and has so far declined to comment on the talks.

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