A company owned by the ex-bosses of MG Rover has paid back around £3 million taken out of the car maker, according to reports.
The BBC says that Phoenix Venture Holdings - run by the so-called Phoenix Four, John Towers, Nick Stephenson, John Edwards and Peter Beale – paid £3m to the liquidator almost five years after the firm's collapse. The payment is believed to follow an out-of-court settlement after investigations by inspectors and liquidators.
When MG Rover collapsed in 2005, with the loss of 6000 jobs and debts of £1.6 billion, it emerged that the so-called Phoenix Four had, in effect, transferred some of the company's assets to Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH).
However, there are around 5000 creditors to MG Rover, meaning the returned money will have to be split between them.It is not clear when a trust fund set up by the Phoenix Four following MG Rover's collapse for the benefit of workers will begin to make payments. A spokesman has said it will only begin payments when Phoenix Venture Holdings is wound up, a process that has yet to begin. There are also concerns that it will not have any assets following payments.
A government-commissioned report into MG Rover's collapse recently found the company bosses had awarded themselves pay and pensions worth £42m, which was described by inspectors as "out of all proportion".
However, the Phoenix Four described the report, which cost £16m, as a "witch-hunt" and a "whitewash for the government".