A £200m loan facility offered to Rover has been declined by the company, according to the UK's `Times` newspaper (13/7/00).

The Phoenix consortium told Burdale Financial, the asset-based lending division of First Union Bank of Carolina, that it does not need the money as yet.

Quoting a spokesman for Rover, the `Times` reports that Rover is debt free and has sufficient cash. The company does not need to borrow nor pay the interest, says the article.

A spokesman for Burdale Financial says that the company is still prepared to lend the money to Rover and that the offer remains on the table. Open communication would still remain, says Burdale, although the respective parties have not spoken directly for several weeks.

The move to decline the finance, which was seen as crucial to Phoenix in acquiring Rover, is seen as an indication that the car manufacturer is in better financial health than was originally thought, says the newspaper.