Tata eyes UK car legends
New Delhi, August 25, 2007
The chairman of India's Tata Group has confirmed that he is interested in acquiring Jaguar and Land Rover from their parent, Ford.
Speaking to Indian TV, Ratan Tata lifted his previous refusal to speculate on a possible Tata bid for the legendary British brands.
He said Tata's interest in Jaguar and Land Rover stemmed from a desire to expand its global presence.
Ford has said there is a more than 50 per cent chance it will sell the carmakers.
Tata Motors relies on the Indian market for more than 90 per cent of its sales.
Tata explained that any thoughts of taking over Jaguar and Land Rover were dictated by the need to change this concentration on one market.
'It is to give ourselves scale, to give ourselves global reach,' he said of the potential bid.
Ford says it has already received a number of offers for the two UK divisions.
Analysts have been expecting a private equity buyer to emerge as a successful suitor for Jaguar and Land Rover.
Earlier, Ford chief executive Alan Mulally said the current turbulence on global stock markets had affected the disposal of Jaguar and Land Rover.
Stock market upsets were 'absolutely an issue', the Ford boss said.
Market turmoil has caused a sharp slowdown in general takeover activity.
Mulally said no announcement would be made over the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover until late this year or early 2008.