Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is in "advanced talks" with British ministers, a banking syndicate and owner Tata Motors on a 800 million pound loan that could help save 15,000 jobs, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Sunday Times quoted unnamed sources as saying negotiations were at a delicate stage, and hinged on whether JLR could provide sufficient loan security to the government and a banking syndicate led by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB.
It said Tata is understood to have agreed in principle to invest another 100 million pounds alongside the re-financing.
While the British government could guarantee 75 per cent repayment of a 340 million pound loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), JLR would have to put up assets as security for the rest.
Sales of JLR, purchased by Tata for 1.15 billion pounds last year, have slid by up to 37 per cent in March, compared with the same month last year.
The Sunday Times reported that talks since November 2008 have proceeded slowly because officials and their advisers have been "unwilling to help, given the size and power of the vast Tata business empire".
"Tata, in turn, has been irritated by what it feels is a lack of support for one of the largest investors in British industry," it said.
The paper said JLR's cash requirement has been trimmed from a billion pounds to just under 800 mn pounds following a review by KPMG.