London: Ford Motor Co said on 28 August it expects the sale of its two European marques Jaguar and Land Rover, in which India’s Tata Motors has evinced interest, to be through either by this year-end or early next year.
“We expect the process to end at the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” an official of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group told PTI, but wished not to be identified.
The official also declined to comment on the specifics of the “process”.
Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata had, in an interview to a TV channel recently, said that his group was interested in Jaguar and Land Rover brands, as the Tata group continues to expand overseas for scale and reach.
The Indian conglomerate’s acquisition of Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus earlier this year remains its most pronounced demonstration of its global ambitions.
With a loss of $12.7 billion in 2006, cash-strapped Ford has been looking to sell its Jaguar and Land Rover units. The carmaker has been able to attract interest but the actual sale has been slow to come due to workers union-related issues.
Tata Motors will be facing competition from two former Ford executives who are reported to have joined hands with private equity firms for making separate bids.
Ex-Ford president Nick Scheele, who served between 2001 and 2005, is understood to have partnered New York-based Ripplewood Holdings LLC. His predecessor Jacques Nasser, who was Ford’s chief executive from 1999 to 2001, is believed to have tied up with One Equity Partners LLC, a private equity firm affiliated with JPMorgan Chase & Co.