With MG Rover Group and its Powertrain engines and gearbox sister languishing in administration, questions are being asked about how the cash has been spent.
Identifying the cash and assets which provided the sizeable financial cushion designed to protect MG Rover as it came to terms with independence from BMW is easier.
The published accounts of Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH), the company controlled by the Phoenix four, and Techtronic 2000, an intermediate holding company which owns MG Rover Group and Powertrain, show a steady flow of cash and assets made available to the business.
Topping the list is £427m handed over by BMW in three separate tranches by way of an interest free loan. The loan is not repayable until 2049.
Added to this were more than 60,000 cars BMW had made but not sold when Rover was handed to its new owners. The value attributed to the stockpile was £385m on December 31 2000.
The MG Rover business came complete with existing cash deposits of £112m. In 2001 PVH acquired the Powertrain business from BMW. As part of that deal PVH received a further £65m from the German car maker.
Under PVH's stewardship, the old MG Rover business has been completely restructured. As part of that, a number of key assets have been sold.
The Longbridge land and buildings were sold under leaseback deals which raised at least £58m. The parts business was sold, raising more than £100m for PVH.
More recently the company sold key technology, notably relating to car engines, to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.
When the list of cash and assets is totalled, it reveals MG Rover's senior management have had £1,214m at their disposal.
The published accounts reveal that the reported operating losses between April 2000 and December 2003 for first Techtronic 2000 and subsequently PVH amounted to £613m. Operating losses are often inflated by non-cash items such as depreciation.
The Guardian estimates the operating losses for 2004 and the first three months of 2005 at PVH were £186m. On that basis, total losses to be funded since the acquisition from BMW amount to £799m.
On top of that, analysis of the published cash flow statements up to December 2003, the last year for which accounts have been published, indicate that PVH spent a further net £200m on items such as fixed assets, acqusitions, interest and tax. Identified cash outflows thus total £999m.
A company spokesman said executives were too busy working with the administrators to offer an explanation for the £215m mismatch between cash in and cash out.
There are a number of simple accounting explanations for the discrepancy. PVH and its subsidiaries may be holding cash balances. It may have acquired assets or incurred other significant cash outflows in 2004.
But given the far reaching consequences of the decision to call in the administrators, the company will be under pressure to explain how the money has been spent.