Tata targets £1.5bn worth of British car marques

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The Independent Online

India's Tata Group has confirmed it wants to buy British car makers Jaguar and Land Rover, worth an estimated £1.5bn, from their current owner the Ford Motor Company.

Speaking on Indian TV on Friday, Chairman Ratan Tata said his interest was a result of the need to expand Tata Motors' worldwide reach. The Indian market currently accounts for more than 90 per cent of Tata Motors' sales.

It is widely known that Ford, which lost $12.7bn (£6.3bn) in 2006, wants to raise cash by selling its prestige British brands. It is thought rival bidders could include two former Ford executives. Sir Nick Scheele, president from 2001 to 2005, has reportedly teamed up with New York-based Ripplewood Holdings to make a bid. Jacques Nasser, Ford's chief executive from 1999 to 2001, is thought to be preparing another bid with private equity firm One Equity Partners.