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Phoenix Venture Holdings

Phoenix Venture Holdings
Company namePhoenix Venture Holdings Ltd
Company typeHolding Company
HeadquartersLongbridge, Birmingham
Key peopleJohn Towers, Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson, and John Edwards
SubsidiaryMG Rover & Powertrain Ltd

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Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH), also known as the Phoenix Consortium, is a British company formed by four businessmen (John Towers, Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson and John Edwards). Following BMW's break-up of the Rover Group a financially complex deal involving a £500 million "dowry payment" from BMW, resulted in PVH purchasing Rover in May 2000 for the notional sum of £10, relaunching the car company as MG Rover. MG Rover and related companies placed themselves in administration on April 8, 2005.

Four years later and after spending £16m the Government finally released the report investigating the collapse of the company. The report, which was only concerned with dealing with the directors and their actions while MG-Rover Group was still trading, revealed that the five executives involved took £42m in pay and pensions from the troubled firm before it collapsed.

The report also commented on the personal relationship between Nick Stephenson and Dr Qu Li, who was paid more than £1.6m in the 15-month period up to April 2005 for consultancy services. Additionally, fellow Director Peter Beale was accused of installing a software application called Evidence Eliminator, which may have destroyed documentation relevant to the investigation. The investigators further accused Mr Beale of giving "untruthful" evidence during interviews.

In return the Directors have accused the findings of being a whitewash and a witchunt, and it remains unknown the exact details of the actions of key Government Ministers at the time of the collapse.

Conservative business spokesman Kenneth Clarke said it was right the report criticised the Phoenix Four, whose behaviour was "disgraceful". Lord Mandelson said the Phoenix group had not shown an "ounce of humility" about the firm's demise and they owed an apology to the firm's employees and creditors. However his comments that steps will be taken to disbar the five executives have been discredited, and the report at no point uses language stronger than 'inappropriate' in describing the activities of the Group Directors.

Phoenix Venture's main trading businesses are/were:

*Studley Castle Ltd.

*MGR Financial Ltd. - joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland

*MG Rover Exports Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

*Phoenix Distribution Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

*Phoenix Venture Motors Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

*MG Rover Group Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, assets sold to Nanjing Automobile

*Powertrain Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, assets sold to Nanjing Automobile

*MG Sport and Racing Ltd. - administered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers

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