Ford May Identify Preferred Bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover This Week
Will it be the favourite or a dark horse?
By Brendan Moore
Ford has gotten far enough along in the sales process concerning Jaguar and Land Rover that it may name their preferred bidder later this week, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
That preferred bidder is expected by auto industry analysts to be Tata, the huge Indian conglomerate that owns Tata Motors and 95 additional companies in other industrial sectors for combined annual sales of approximately $20 billion. Ford is refusing comment on the possibility of the preferred bidder being announced this week, as well as who that preferred bidder might be.
The road to a package deal that would allow Ford to sell both the ailing Jaguar and the healthy Land Rover to a single buyer has been a tortured one so far, with Ford proceeding slowly, and as much as possible, quietly, towards their goal of jettisoning the two European luxury vehicle companies. Ford’s CEO, Alan Mulally, is intent on selling the two Ford units so that struggling Ford can then concentrate on its core brands.
The short list of bidders was reported to be down to three companies recently; Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra/Apollo Management LP and a private equity firm led by former Ford CEO, Jac Nasser, One Equity Partners, a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase. Additionally, Ford’s labor union has made known its preference for Tata in the bidding process just recently as well.
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