"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Sunday, June 25, 2006

US bankers sell off last of UK vehicle manufacturing to Russians

There is little left of British vehicle manufacturing and the last serious chunk LDV, which was formerly known as Leyland DAF, was acquired by a group of shareholders backed by Finance House US based, Sun Capital Partners, Inc. (with US$3.5 Bn funds under management) in December 2005. Now Russia's largest automotive group Gaz, controlled by Russia’s aluminium oligarch Oleg Deripaska, has commenced negotiations to buy them. (pic the new LDV Maxus people carrier - a van with a lid)

Formerly known as Leyland DAF, LDV employs about 800 workers at its Birmingham plant. The company manufactures panel vans and minibuses and produces more than 13,000 vehicles a year and has annual sales of approx. £200Mn. LDV’s best known models are the Maxus minivan, which is used by the British Postal Service, and Sherpa.

Russian business daily Vedomosti said that Gaz may limit itself to buying a license to produce Maxus minivans, without actually acquiring the plant.

Nikolai Smolensky 23, son of Russia’s once-famous oligarch and banker Alexander Smolensky, bought the British producer of sports cars TVR in 2004 which is going through a dramatic downsizing exercise at present. Sackings of half the 300 staff were announced in April and car production once 12 a week is down to 2. Smolensky has also made a half hearted attempt to buy attempted to buy what remains (if anything) of MG Rover.

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