Home Economy Ford names Tata as frontrunner in Jaguar takeover

Ford names Tata as frontrunner in Jaguar takeover


London : Leading Indian automaker Tata Motors Ltd has inched closer to acquiring premium British automobile brands Jaguar and Land Rover, their owner Ford Motor Co saying Thursday it has picked Tata as the preferred bidder for its British units.

“Ford is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar and Land Rover business,” said Lewis Booth, executive vice-president of Ford’s European units, in a statement.

“There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned,” Booth said.

Ford, which bought Jaguar in 1989 for $2.5 billion, and Land Rover in 2000 for $2.73 billion, is selling off the two iconic British luxury brands to recoup losses made in its American operations.

Tata was one of three bidders left in the race, the other two being fellow Indian carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra and buyout specialists One Equity, which is headed by former Ford chief executive Jacque Nasser.

Offers are said to be around the $2-billion mark.