BBC makes claim ahead of official report being published
11 September 2009

A report into the collapse of carmaker MG Rover is expected to say that five executives took £42m in pay and pensions from the troubled firm, according to the BBC.

Independent inspectors said the men behind the takeover and the executive they appointed enriched themselves as Rover headed for insolvency.

However, despite the criticism, it does not accuse them of breaking the law.

The long-awaited report into the 2005 collapse of the company is due to be released later.

The independent probe has taken more than four years to complete and has cost the taxpayer about £16m.

The four executives in control of MG Rover, the so-called Phoenix Four, have always denied any wrongdoing.

According to the report by Gervase MacGregor of accountants BDO Stoy Hayward and Guy Newey QC, MG Rover chairman John Towers, ex-vice chairman Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards received around £9m.

Their chief executive, Kevin Howe, is said to have taken £5.7m.

Having been quizzed as part of the probe, the Phoenix Four are understood to have seen the report, but have signed secrecy clauses in a bid to prevent public leaks.

The four took control of MG Rover in May 2000 after buying it from previous owner BMW for a nominal £10. They also gained an interest-free loan of £427m from the German carmaker.

They were eventually unable to turn the company around and it went into administration under insolvency procedures in April 2005, with debts of more than £1bn.

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