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Tata snares Jag, Land Rover

New custodian: Jaguar's forthcoming XF luxury sedan.

India's Tata emerges as new owner of Ford's lauded Brit icons Jaguar and Land Rover

Jaguar logo21 Dec 2007

THE Birmingham Post has reported that Tata Motors will be the new owner of hallowed British brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

As we previously reported, the Indian auto giant was one of three potential buyers short-listed by the Ford Motor Company, which began selling off both car-makers' assets more than two years ago and confirmed in June that it was actively seeking a new owner for its UK-based luxury and off-road brands.

A buy-out agreement failed to materialise as expected in late July, and the winning bidder was as recently as a week ago not due to be officially confirmed until the first quarter of 2008.

But the pre-Christmas report in The Birmingham Post - which is based in the West Midlands, where Jaguar and Land Rover employ more than 13,200 staff - claims Tata will be officially announced as the preferred bidder for both companies today (December 21) in the UK.

Neither Ford or Tata have so far made any no comment on the report, or whether the rumoured £1 billion purchase price is accurate.

The news may come as a surprise to fans and owners of the British makes - not to mention workers at both factories who, along with the government, are believed to be supportive of the deal - but industry analysts agree it is a logical step in the Indian car-maker's march toward becoming a global vehicle producer.

Tata beat fellow Indian auto giant Mahindra and private equity group One Equity Partners to claim what was once considered the jewel in Britain's car-making crown.

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