Rover Execs Bled £42 Million From Ailing Car Firm

(Reuters) – FIVE EXECUTIVES at carmaker Rover took £42 million in pay and pensions as the company headed for insolvency, said a report obtained by the BBC ahead of its official release today.

The report by independent inspectors into the 2005 collapse of the MG Rover group details the actions of former MG Rover chairman John Towers, ex-vice chairman Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards and a chief executive, the BBC reported.

But the report does not accuse the men of breaking the law, said the BBC.

Last month, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) ruled out a criminal investigation into the affair after business secretary Peter Mandelson referred the case to them in July amid concern over the amounts paid out to executives as the company struggled.

The report has attracted criticism from opposition politicians over repeated delays and an estimated cost of £16 million. The document compiled by Gervase MacGregor of accountants BDO Stoy Hayward and Guy Newey QC will be officially released this morning.

After purchasing Rover for £10 in May 2000, the management team briefly revived its fortunes before heading into insolvency in 2005, with debts of more than £1 billion.

China’s Nanjing Automobile has since resurrected the MG sports car brand, relocating much of the production to China.

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