Shanghai Automotive - one of the failed bidders for MG Rover - has bought the Rover name for £11.5 million.

Shanghai will announce this month it has bought the right to use the marque from BMW, which kept rights to the name after it pulled out of Rover in 2000.

BMW last night denied a sale, but The Birmingham Post understands a press conference will take place on August 22. A new badge has been designed.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) beat off competition for the name from Nanjing Automobile, the company which bought the assets of the Longbridge firm for £53 million last year.

The name is likely to be used on the new Rover 25s and 75s SAIC plans to produce this year. A stretch version of the Rover 75 is also planned by SAIC, which won intellectual property rights to the cars.

The Shanghai enterprise, which has worked with General Motors and Volkswagen, plans to invest £900 million to launch 30 models with its own technology over five years.

An industry insider said: "Nanjing really wanted the brand, but only offered £500,000 because they didn't think BMW would sell to someone else. Nanjing thought they should have got it because they are at Longbridge and are carrying on the tradition. It is a UK name and part of the UK motoring heritage, they never thought BMW would dare sell to anyone else.

"Nanjing thought there would be pressure from press and public to keep the Rover name here, but it never happened. SAIC wants to sell cars on the international market and must have an international brand."

Peter Cooke, professor of automotive industry management at Nottingham Business School, said: "It would be logical for Shanghai to buy the Rover name as they have aspirations to get into Europe, although how strong the name is after all the years in the mire is another matter.

"Rover is a global brand and the Chinese are obsessional about brands. It is a high price, but brands are worth a lot of money and take a long time to build up. This is a brand that is available and could kickstart their plans to sell internationally."