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MG ROVER TO BE BROKEN UP

MG Rover Group arrived at the end of the road as administrators for the stricken company -- Britain's last major car manufacturer -- said they intend to break it up, laying off 5,000 workers, after the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. made clear it was not interested in a joint venture.

Rover's downfall was precipitated by the failure of talks with China's state-owned SAIC about a joint venture, and renewing the negotiations had been seen as the best chance of saving the company and the jobs of some 6,100 workers at its Longbridge factory in central England.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was appointed to oversee the company's future after it closed the plant and filed for a form of bankruptcy a week ago, said there was now no prospect of a sale of the company as a going concern to SAIC or anybody else.

The resulting loss of jobs at Rover, and among 18,000 other workers at companies who supply parts to the automaker, is a development that could not come at a worse time for the British government, just weeks ahead of a general election.

"We'll explore what we would describe as the break-up of the business, we will carry on with the interested parties who want to talk about pieces of the business," PwC joint administrator Tony Lomas said Friday.