The Phoenix Four will not be allowed to serve as company directors for up to six years
9 May 2011

The four directors who oversaw the collapse of MG Rover have voluntarily agreed not to serve as company directors again for up to six years.

Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson, John Edwards and John Towers, collectively known as the Phoenix Four, were at the helm when MG Rover went under in 2005 with debts of £1.3 billion, resulting in the loss of 6000 jobs.

They bought MG Rover from BMW Group for £10 in 2000 and made around £40m between them in pay and pensions, despite the company’s spiralling losses.

MG Rover: the report in full

All have agreed not to serve as company directors again for between three and six years, although all claim they did nothing wrong.

“As they have already made it clear that they have no intention of holding company office in the UK, they have agreed to a voluntary compromise, while emphatically not accepting any allegations or suggestions of wrong-doing,” said a spokesman.

“The former directors point out that they have done nothing which justifies disqualification. All of the many inquiries into the collapse of MG Rover have achieved little other than a series of massive bills.”

Police to investigate MG Rover

A lengthy investigation into MG Rover’s collapse by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills culminated in 2009 and it backed-up the widely-held view that the Phoenix Four got rich off the back of the firm’s failings.

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