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BMW Shareholder Quashes Sell-Off Rumor
Reuters
MUNICH — BMW AG's major shareholder the Quandt family on Monday quashed speculation it was interested in selling its 48 percent stake in the company to Ford Motor Co or other rival car makers.

A spokesman for the billionaire German industrial dynasty said the family had no reason to sell its stake and had no interest in doing so. BMW last week jettisoned its loss-making UK Rover subsidiary and sold off Land Rover to Ford.

The spokesman said that the family was not in talks with Ford — the world's second-biggest car maker — or with any other rival car company, about selling its stake.

"The Quandt family has given no one the task of finding solutions for BMW because there is no reason to nor an interest in selling BMW," Quandt family spokesman Thomas Gauly said.

"There have been no talks with Ford or with any other auto maker. Any reports to the contrary are speculation and without any substance whatsoever," he added.

A report in German newspaper Die Welt on Monday had fuelled rumors that anxiety was mounting at the Munich-based car maker that the family might sell off its stake, jeopardizing the group's eight-and-a-half decades of independence.

The newspaper reported that the Quandt family had called on BMW to secure the company's independent future in return for not selling its stake.

The head of BMW's workers' council Manfred Schoch, who is also a BMW supervisory board member, told the newspaper that the family had asked BMW Chief Executive Joachim Milberg to find solutions to ensure the group's independence.

But a spokesman for Schoch said on Monday that BMW's decision last week to sell Rover had satisfied Quandt demands for urgent action to tackle unease about the company's future and had been welcomed by them as an appropriate measure.

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