Indian conglomerate Tatas are set to be named today the top choice for buying the US auto giant Ford’s iconic British brands, Jaguar and Land Rover, according to a media report here.
“The group has had its £1 billion bid accepted by Ford... The firm has beaten off competition from rival Indian firm Mahindra & Mahindra and private equity group One Equity Partners,” Birmingham Post reported on Thursday.
The report quoted unnamed sources at Land Rover as saying, “It is definitely Tata. There is one final meeting and so long as there is no last minute hitches, which are not expected, then an announcement will be made on Friday.”
The final details would be worked out in the next six weeks, it added. The report also quoted a workers’ union official as saying that Mahindra’s bid fell flat because of links to a private equity firm as the Indian firm was working with Apollo.
“When a private equity firm buys a company, the cost of buying it often goes onto the companies books. If anything then goes wrong how do you refinance the business?” industry officer for the Transport and General Workers’ Union section of Unite, Des Quinn, said.
Birminghan Post said Tata officials are coming from India to the UK for the announcement and the deal has been supported by the staff as well as the government. “We think the Tata bid is in the best interests of our members,” Quinn said.