BMW has come to an agreement with a buyer for the rights to UK brand Rover, according to a financial newspaper.

The buyer is thought to be Chinese automobile group Shanghai Automotive Industry (SAIC) and a binding agreement is said to have been signed, the Financial Times Deutschland reported.

SAIC is reported to be planning to pay GBP11m (EUR16.2m) for the rights but the conclusion of the sale will depend on whether Ford decides to exercise its right of first refusal, the report said, adding that it has 90 days to do so.

The paper noted that SAIC already holds the design rights to Rover's 25 and 75 models for which it paid around GBP67m.

Rival Nanjing has the rights to MG models and it has been speculated that it and SAIC will come to some sort of agreement eventually.