American car-maker Ford is expected to finalise the deal with Indian conglomerate Tata for the sale of luxury brands -- Jaguar and Land Rover, by next week, a media report in London said.
"The two sides, which have been in exclusive talks since the beginning of the year, are expected to sign a deal worth up to two billion dollars (one billion pound) next Wednesday or shortly afterwards," The Times said in a report on its online edition on Thursday.
According to the report, Ford is expected to seal the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata, next week after the American car-maker recently agreed to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into the pension fund to smooth the process.
The deal is expected to be welcomed by unions, who believe that there is no immediate threat to British jobs or manufacturing, it added.
On January 3, Ford had named Tata as the preferred bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover.
The Times also said that Ford has pledged to pump in 300 million pounds into the pension fund to clear its deficit. "It has also given assurances over the long-term supply of engines and some other components to the two marques to ease union fears about their future...," it pointed out.
"The two marques had to be sold together because Ford had merged a number of their operations and supplies. The official announcement is being timed for after the Geneva Motor Show, so that the two companies can try to promote their products at the key European showcase," the report added.