The Tatas have begun due diligence to place bids for the takeover of UK-based automobile major Ford’s Jaguar and Land Rover units.
Ford, which had put the two ailing units on the block, is expected start receiving bids from prospective buyers by September-end.
The Tata Motors’ team, led by Tata Sons’ ED Arun Gandhi, is believed to have examined the documents of Jaguar and Rovers in London on Monday.
The Tatas are understood to have appointed Citigroup and JP Morgan as advisors for the deal. A Tata group spokesperson declined to comment.
However, sources close to the deal said that the Tatas could put in the bids by the month-end if Ford does not revise its plans due to a turbulent global financial market conditions.
Interesting permutations and combinations are emerging since the value of bids will be as high as in the range of $1-$1.5 billion.
Meanwhile, deal street is speculating that US-based private equity fund Cerebrus Capital is set to stich a deal with a consortium involving the Tatas and Fiat. Cerberus, which actively invests in the auto sector, recently bought out Chrysler from DaimlerChrysler for $7.4 billion.
However, sources said that the Tatas are yet to make any serious effort to put together a joint bid. “It’s too early to decide. We will take one step at time,” said a source close to the deal.
Tata first admitted to its interest in Jaguar and Land Rover on August 24, when chairman Ratan Tata said the company was indeed looking at the two luxury marques as potential targets.
Ford bought Jaguar in 1989, paying £1.6 billion, but has since struggled to make a success of the troubled Midlands-based company, despite heavy investments.