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India's Tata confirms interest in Land Rover, Jaguar
08.24.07, 2:33 PM ET



NEW DELHI (Thomson Financial) - The head of India's Tata conglomerate confirmed Friday that his group was interested in bidding for luxury UK car brands Jaguar and Land Rover, in an interview with an Indian news channel.

Last month, Indian news reports said that two Indian automakers -- Tata Motors (nyse: TTM - news - people ) and the Mahindra group -- were considering separate bids to buy the British icons from struggling US carmaker Ford Motor Co. (nyse: F - news - people )

'We certainly have an interest in that segment but it is not the time to comment on it now,' Tata told business channel CNBC TV 18 according to a short excerpt of the interview on the company web site.

'It is to give ourselves scale and global reach, as we take ourselves away from subordination to a single economy.'

The full interview will be aired on Sunday and Monday.

Ford announced in June that it was considering selling off the two labels as it restructures its North American operations, in a deal that media reports have pegged at around 1.3-1.5 bln usd.

Tata Motors, India's biggest car company, has appointed advisors 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 last month.

The move would be in keeping with Tata group's growing appetite for overseas acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Tata Steel bought Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus for 13.7 bln usd, India's biggest ever foreign takeover.

Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 for 2.5 bln usd and Land Rover from Germany's Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in 2000 for 2.7 bln usd.

India's Mahindra group has not commented on news reports last month about its interest in the British car companies.

tf.TFN-Europe_newsdesk@thomson.com

wj

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