Jon Moulton, head of Alchemy Partners, is understood to have been receiving more than £100,000 a day from BMW for work on Alchemy’s abortive bid to buy Rover.
The highly unusual fee, which tops £5m, was arranged before the venture capitalist opened detailed talks with the German car manufacturer, which has now set an end-of-month deadline to dispose of the ailing car operation. Mr Moulton, who has blamed a series of complex legal hurdles imposed by BMW for the decision to end negotiations after six weeks, expects to make a profit after the detailed talks to buy Rover.
His shock decision to walk away from the deal last week has left 24,000 workers in the West Midlands facing redundancy and forced the German car manufacturer to open last-ditch talks with Phoenix, the consortium led by former Rover chief executive John Towers.
Mr Moulton last night continued to pour scorn on the ability of Phoenix to clinch a deal with BMW and made it clear that he expected the German car manufacturer to resume talks with him when the Phoenix negotiations collapse.
“Do not imagine we have gone away,” Mr Moulton said.
Admitting that he had negotiated a “flat fee” with BMW before starting the talks in March, he refused to reveal the size of the payment or how it had been structured.
Most of the fee would be used to settle lawyers’ fees and other costs associated with the bid.
Alchemy’s plans for Rover were unpopular with workers in Longbridge as Mr Moulton had made it clear he would sack most of the 9,000 workers, abandoning high volume manufacturing.
The collapse of his negotiations opened the door for Phoenix, which has set up a shell company called Tech-tronic 2000 to run Rover. Workers and the government are more supportive of this deal. Mr Towers has pledged to continue mass production of cars at the site.
Mr Towers is poring over documentation provided by BMW about Rover but questions linger over how he will be able to finance the deal.
Source: The Guardian