Ford nears Land Rover, Jaguar sale

The US automobile company is reportedly close to choosing between One Equity Partners and two Indian car makers, one of which is teaming with Apollo, as its preferred bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover.

Three remaining bidding groups – JPMorgan’s private equity arm, One Equity Partners, India’s Tata Motors and Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra along with Apollo Management – are reportedly expecting Ford Motor Company to choose one of them by the weekend as the preferred buyer of its Jaguar and Land Rover divisions.

A Ford spokesman told PEO that the company is continuing to explore the potential sale of the British brands. “Discussions are progressing with selected parties who have expressed interest, and we anticipate these discussions will culminate in an agreement no later than early next year,” he said in an email.
But the Financial Times today cited sources close to the Indian car makers as having said a decision is expected this week. Indian newspaper The Economic Times also reported the same time frame, citing anonymous investment banking sources, and said the bids being considered range from $1.6 billion (€1 billion) to $2.2 billion.

Ford has already narrowed down the bids, having eliminated at least one private equity firm, Ripplewood Holdings. Thomas Stallkamp, a Ripplewood partner and former president of US automaker Chrysler, said last month at the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit he was disappointed their bid had been dropped.

Cerberus Capital Management, which agreed in June to buy Chrysler for $7.4 billion, was also reportedly one of the initial parties interested in the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.