Both sides in car deal use FD

The confirmation last Friday of Indian conglomerate Tata's interest in acquiring Jaguar and Land Rover means FD stands to gain from the auto marques' sale and acquisition.

Watson: FD boss
Watson: FD boss

FD has already been brought in to handle Ford’s sale of the iconic car duo. It will have a role similar to the one it had when the American car maker auctioned Aston Martin earlier this year (PRWeek, 29 June).

But FD has also been advising Indian steel firm – and potential bidder – Tata Steel since it took over Corus (formerly British Steel) in a £5.1bn deal last year (PRWeek, 26 October 2006).

FD has a strategic alliance with Mumbai-based Vaish­navi Corporate Communications, which is retained by Tata. As such, it is considered a front-runner for the Tata business in the event of a bid.

Jaguar Land Rover currently operates as a single business under the Ford banner, but the company is thought to be seeking separate buyers. Land Rover is operating at a profit, while Jaguar has struggled since it was bought by Ford in 1989.

Ford, the third largest car maker in the world, bought Land Rover from BMW in 2000 in a bid to build a luxury European car portfolio.

Ford’s auction has brought interest primarily from the private equity sector, with at least five firms circling the car brands. Mahindra & Mahindra, another Indian firm, is also expected to bid. The sale is not expected until early 2008.

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