A controversial rescue deal for British automaker MG Rover by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) received a boost with the appointment of a leading London-based public relations firm to advise the Chinese company, Britain's Sunday Times reported. The US$1.8bn deal for a so-called "strategic partner" has been under discussion for several months, but negotiations appeared to have petered out in recent weeks, suggesting SAIC may have been getting cold feet. British government officials have been lobbying hard for the deal to go ahead, worrying that without the Chinese cash, Rover would be forced to close, leading to thousands of job losses in the run-up to a national election expected later this year. Industry sources told the Sunday Times that SAIC's appointment of Cardew Group, a financial PR firm, indicated the deal was now almost certain to be done.
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