The Tatas may need to wait until the New Year to get the keys of iconic British car brands Jaguar and Land Rovers from Ford Motor Company.
Though it appears that the Indian major has been selected the preferred bidder, Ford would evidently announce the decision formally after the New Year. Ford spokesman John Gardiner said: "It would be fair to assume that negotiations will stop now for the Christmas holidays and we can expect an agreement sometime early next year."
While Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant was in London late Thursday, the mergers & acquisitions team of Tata Sons led by executive director Arun Gandhi and other senior officials have been in London to negotiate with the Ford management.
While the negotiations have reached the final lap, the Tatas are believed to have sounded out the banks for an acquisition and appear to be close to arranging long- and short-term loans from a consortium of banks, according to bankers close to the transaction. Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank could be part of the consortium, though this is not confirmed. Citi Group and JP Morgan are the advisors for the Tatas.
The other contenders — Mahindra & Mahindra and US private equity firm One Equity Partners — are out of the race and were reportedly not part of the negotiations since Tuesday.
However, sources said Ford’s management could recall the second and third bidders if the bilateral and commercial negotiations with the preferred bidder falls through.
According to sources, the value of the deal would be $2.13 billion (approximately Rs 8,520 crore).