Lover of collapsed MG Rover director paid 1.7-mn pounds for a year’s work

September 12th, 2009 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sep 12 (ANI): MG Rover’s director paid his lover 1.7 million pounds for a year’s work, according to a report on the collapse of the car manufacturing giant.

In May 2000, the Phoenix consortium — John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards — acquired the business for a nominal 10 pounds from BMW.

BMW ensured that MG Rover could survive for a few years. But from the outset, it was clear that it had no long-term future unless it could find a substantial business partner within the motor industry.

The report into the demise of the giant compiled by Gervase MacGregor, a partner at the accountants BDO Stoy Hayward, and the barrister Guy Newey QC condemns the consortium which made a fortune out of the collapsed car maker, The Independent reports.

They reported that the four directors supplied inaccurate and misleading information about Rover’s finances to MPs, and singled out evidence Beale gave to the Commons trade and industry select committee.

They expressed concern over the plainly excessive fee of almost 1.7 million pounds paid to Dr Qu Li for advice she gave the Phoenix management about potential business partners in China.

For some of the time Dr Li was paid by Rover, she and Stephenson were having an affair. The report protested about the poor “corporate governance” of the Phoenix team: some board members were not invited to several board meetings and inaccurate minutes were taken of discussions.

Despite the failure of MG Rover between 2000 and 2005, the Phoenix Four continued to pay themselves generously right up to the group’s demise in 2005.

Towers, who led the buyout, was paid 8.96 million pounds, Stephenson 8.98 million pounds and Edwards received 9.02 million pounds. Beale, who is accused of misleading the parliamentary inquiry into the company’s collapse, was paid 8.98 million pounds over the four years, while Howe pocketed 5.71 million pounds.

The report cleared ministers of blame for MG Rover’s demise. (ANI)

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