MG Rover report prompts SFO investigation

The Serious Fraud Office has been pulled in to investigate the circumstances
surrounding the collapse of British car manufacturer MG Rover, after the
government decided there were grounds to look at whether criminal activity had

The move was prompted by BDO Stoy Hayward’s report, commissioned four years
ago, into what caused the failure of the Midlands-based group and the loss of
around 15,000 jobs.

Lord Mandelson is to tell Parliament that the findings of the report will be
passed on to the SFO and the report will now not be made public until the body
has completed its investigations.

A representative of the so-called ‘Phoenix Four’ – venture capitalists John
Towers, Peter Beale, John Edwards and Nick Stephenson who bought MG Rover from
BMW for £10 in 2000 and presided over its collapse in 2005 – accused the
government of using tactics to delay the publication of the report, which could
be critical of its actions in the crisis.

‘We suspect that this is a government ruse to conceal its own failings,’ the
representative told the Financial

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