FRANKFURT -- Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., China's biggest carmaker, has made a formal offer to buy collapsed British automaker MG Rover with the goal of resuming halted car production in the British Midlands, it said.
SAIC, which is wholly owned by the government of Shanghai, said it had bid for the combined assets of MG Rover and engine maker Powertrain Ltd, both of which have been under administration by PricewaterhouseCoopers since April.
"The offer envisages a strategic collaboration with Magma Holdings Ltd. which will focus on the development and distribution of new models and a resumption of car production at Longbridge," it said in a statement released late on Monday.
It gave no financial details.
Magma was founded by former Ford Europe boss Martin Leach and former General Motors executive Edward Sabisky.
PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Thursday it was in talks with three different parties interested in MG Rover, all of whom hoped to continue "at least some car production in the U.K."
The others are rival Chinese carmaker Nanjing Automotive and British businessman David James, who has been seeking a British government loan guarantee to get a proposal off the ground.
MG Rover filed for bankruptcy after SAIC pulled out of a joint venture that would have thrown the British firm a financial lifeline.