India Inc is shopping in style. Car makers Ford is set to announce the Tata Group as the preferred bidder for its iconic Jaguar and Land Rover within a fortnight, according to insiders in the deal. The deal is likely to be inked for £1 billion.
, UK, reported on December 16 that the Tatas are likely to be declared the winners within a fortnight.
Ford’s picking Tata would be historic because it would be the first time a major Western car group is bought by an Indian company.
Last week, three bidders — the Tatas, Mahindras and American buyout group One Equity — were left in the race. It was reported that the trade unions had favoured the Tatas with 46 per cent backing and that strengthened their chances of emerging as the most favoured. Jaguar and Land Rover operations in Britain are based in Wales, and so are some factories of steel giant Corus, which Tata recently bought.
A Welsh government spokesperson told
that the news was most welcome. “We are very happy with the group here. We hope that more business will come as the Tatas are expected to set up more units for components of the cars. It will boost employment here.” She said the Corus trade unions were satisfied with the management.
The deal is said to be for about £1 billion but the exact amount could change once Tata is declared the preferred bidder. Tata sources refused to comment. But Tatas may have to negotiate a settlement with the pension trustees and also ensure that Ford continues to maintain regular supply of components and engines.