Tata Has Edge in Jaguar, Land Rover Sale

India’s Tata Motors Ltd is said to be in the leading position to acquire Ford’s struggling Jaguar and Land Rover units.

The folks at the Wall Street Journal say that besides Tata, firm bids were received from Ripplewood Holdings LLC of New York and One Equity Partners (a unit of JP Morgan Chase).

The WSJ story says that the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover is entering the final stage and potential buyers will meet Ford labor leaders on November 20:

Tata Motors’ bid is increasingly seen as having an edge over other would-be buyers, said people familiar with the sale process. Tata is the only car maker to have submitted a bid, which could be an advantage over financial bidders. Tata may be able to offer a higher price, because it would have the possibility of offsetting the extra expense by leveraging economies of scale with its existing production operations, people familiar with the matter said.

The FT had earlier reported that Mahindra was also eyeing the Jaguar and Land Rover units.

Jaguar and Land Rover are units of Ford’s luxury Premier Automotive Group, which has fared badly for four out of the last five years.

Ford acquired Jaguar in 1990 for $2.5 billion and purchased Land Rover in 2000 for $2.68 billion from BMW.

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