My noble Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Lord Mandelson, has made the following statement.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is announcing today that the Serious Fraud Office has been asked to consider whether there should be a criminal investigation following completion of an inquiry into the collapse of the MG Rover Group.
The decision was taken after the Department studied a report produced by independent inspectors appointed by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry after MG Rover Group went into administration on 8 April 2005 owing creditors nearly £1.3 billion.
The inspectors were appointed under Section 432 of the Companies Act and had wide powers to require documents and the attendance of witnesses, including directors, officers and agents of the company. They investigated the affairs of MGRG, its parent company Phoenix Venture Holdings and MGR Capital Limited and 32 related companies between the purchase of MGRG from BMW in May 2000 and the date of it entering administration.
The inspectors delivered their report on 11 June 2009. Following legal advice this report will not be published at this time in order to ensure any potential prosecution is not prejudiced. The position will be reviewed following the outcome of the SFO’s considerations.