Following revelations last week that former Ford of Europe and Maserati boss Martin Leach is heading a Chinese-backed bid for MG Rover’s remaining assets, today the evocatively-named Project Kimber is tendering a rival offer. Headed by corporate troubleshooter David James CBE, Project Kimber has tendered two unconditional bids to the joint administrators of the MG Rover Group Limited and engine builder Powertrain Ltd.
The first bid is for the MG brand and the means to build niche vehicles such as the TF with production assets and supplier tooling, with the second adding the assets of Powertrain Ltd. James is banking on another bidder being interested in the Rover brand, and is offering to assist in the sale of the assets that are surplus to Project Kimber’s requirements to other interested parties.
If it is to succeed, the bid must be deemed more attractive by administrators than two Chinese-backed bids. Martin Leach has the backing of Shanghai Automotive, while former Phoenix consortium member Nick Stephenson is advising a rival bid from Nanjing Auto.