Ford has received three “full and detailed” offers for its Jaguar and Land Rover operations. The US car maker is expected to begin talks with the bidders early next week.
The Telegraph, a UK daily, said that Indian industrial group Tata and US-based private equity firms One Equity and Ripplewood provided takeover proposals this week. Other finance houses are understood to have submitted indicative offers, but Tata, One Equity and Ripplewood's comprehensive proposals have made them frontrunners.
“The others will have to play catch-up,” a source told The Telegraph, indicating that other possible bidders are not out of the race yet. These are reported to include TPG Capital and Terra Firma, the UK-based buyout firm headed by Guy Hands. Cerberus, an early favourite and the owner of Chrysler, is thought to have pulled out of the bidding process.
Reports in India indicate that Tata, which would not be subject to the same difficulties in raising debt financing for a bid as its financial sponsor rivals, has submitted a non-binding bid of approximately US$1.85bn. Trade synergies and union sympathies against private equity ownership would likely favour Tata as the front runner.
Ripplewood is believed to have included details of its arrangements for financing, although financing arrangement for One Equity, the private equity arm of investment bank JP Morgan, are not clear