Rover Chief Executive Werner Saemann has not given British consortium Phoenix an extended deadline to improve its bid for the car maker, Rover parent BMW has said.

A BMW spokesman said Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers met Saemann on Tuesday to ask for an extension to the deadline beyond the end of April or beginning of May. Saemann made clear, however, that there would be no extension of the deadline, the BMW spokesman said.

The British government has been lobbying hard to convince BMW to seriously consider the Phoenix offer, which promises to cut fewer jobs at Rover’s main Longbridge plant than a rival bid by venture capital group Alchemy Partners.

The BMW spokesman said he did not know of a meeting that Byers’ office says is due to be held on Wednesday between Saemann and the leader of the Phoenix consortium – – former Rover chief executive John Towers.

The Phoenix offer is “still not how we expect it”, the BMW spokesman said, adding that Towers had not yet presented a convincing case for security liquidity at Rover.

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