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Report: BMW, VW May Buy Rolls-Royce

November 12, 1997

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Add BMW and Volkswagen to the list of interested buyers of British luxury automaker Rolls-Royce.

After initially demurring interest, BMW has acknowledged that it is considering a bid and the news magazine Stern reported Wednesday that Volkswagen also was checking into a possible deal.

The makers of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars have denied reports they are interested.

Vickers PLC, which acquired Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 1979, said it is selling the company to concentrate on building tanks, howitzers, propulsion systems and Cosworth engines. The sale price has been estimated at $655 million.

BMW, which already supplies the engines for the new Rolls-Royce and Bentley models, said Tuesday that it would be the best buyer for Rolls-Royce. BMW could ``support its existing business and help in the development of new models,″ the company said.

Volkswagen has long been interested in entering the luxury auto market, and according to Stern sees an opportunity in Rolls-Royce.

A spokesman for Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, would not comment on the report.

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