Indian automakers Tata Motors and the Mahindra group are considering separate bids to buy luxury British car brands Jaguar and Land Rover from struggling US carmaker Ford Motor Corp, media reports said yesterday.
Ford announced last month that it was considering selling off the two iconic marques as it restructures its North American operations.
Media reports have pegged the deal as worth US$1.3 billion to US$1.5 billion.
Tata Motors, India's biggest automobile company, has appointed advisers to evaluate a bid and signed a confidentiality agreement with Ford to access financial details of the two brands, which have a combined British workforce of 19,000, the Business Standard daily quoted unnamed sources as saying.
The move would be in keeping with Tata group's growing appetite for overseas acquisition targets.
Earlier this year, Tata Steel bought Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus for US$13.7 billion, India's biggest ever takeover of a foreign firm.
Leading tractor and utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra, which formed a joint venture this year with France's Renault and Japan's Nissan, had also signed a confidentiality agreement with the US carmaker, the Economic Times reported.
Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 for US$2.5 billion and Land Rover from Germany's BMW in 2000 for US$2.7 billion.
Spokesmen for Tata and Mahindra declined to comment on the bids.
The Economic Times said that Mahindra and Mahindra's real interest is in Land Rover, but since the two brands are being offered as a package deal it is looking at a combined bid.
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