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April 29, 2005

RUSSIA: Russian firm interested in MG Rover

The Russian Press Digest - Russica Izvestia – reports that a Russian firm is interested in purchasing Britain's bankrupt MG Rover.

The Russian Press Digest – Russica Izvestia – reports that a Russian firm is interested in purchasing Britain’s bankrupt MG Rover.

But the scope of the interest is unclear.

Britain’s bankrupt carmaker MG Rover ‘may be purchased by Russian businessmen’, the report said citing Gazeta as source. Deputy chairman of the board of the Russian carmaker Ruspromavto Alexander Yushkevich told the paper that MG Rover is “potentially attractive” to the Russian company.

However, any concrete decisions may be taken only after the process of the MG Rover’s evaluation is completed, ‘which may take up to a year’.

Ruspromavto is a part of Basic Element holding, owned by one of the Russia’s richest men, Oleg Deripaska.

Yushkevich said the purchase of MG Rover is possible, but it shouldn’t contradict the Russian company’s strategy of development. He said that some of MG Rover’s cars are quite popular in Russia, also a Russian firm could use the British carmaker’s engineering center and benefit from the assistance the British government offered to the financially strangled company.

Gazeta pointed out that Russian investment in the UK auto industry has already begun when 23-year-old Nikolay Smolenskiy, (‘baby oligarch’) purchased sports car producer TVR for an undisclosed sum, ‘possibly some $50 million’, the paper speculates.

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