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Tata wins deadline extension for JLR loans

Longer bridge: Tata now has another 18 months to repay the loans it used to buy JLR.

Indian car-maker refinances bridge loans for Jaguar and Land Rover purchase

Tata logo2 Jun 2009

By DAVID HASSALL

TATA Motors has completed refinancing of the bridge loan taken out to buy Jaguar and Land Rover, extending the maturity deadline for repayment of the final $US1 billion ($A1.23 billion) by 18 months to the end of 2010.

The Indian car-maker originally raised $US3 billion to buy the British luxury car brands from Ford in June 2008. It repaid $1.16 billion last year and last week raised $840 million through nonconvertible debentures.

A total of 21 lenders were involved in the refinancing deal.

“This agreement, along with the earlier repayments and the bond issue last week, completes the refinancing of the bridge finance,” said Tata in a statement.

Two weeks ago, Tata chairman Ratan Tata told the Sunday Times in the UK that the acquisitions were made “at an inopportune time in the sense that they were near the top of the market in terms of price”.

Days after announcing the refinancing deal, Tata Motors reported a 51 per cent drop in profit for the financial year ended March 31 and the departure from June 1 of managing director Ravi Kant.

Tata said that Mr Kant was retiring in accordance with company policy on reaching the age of 65 and that he will remain on the company’s board as non-executive vice-chairman.

His replacement is 61-year-old former executive director of commercial vehicles and 37-year Tata veteran Prakesh Talang, who took charge yesterday (Tuesday).

Tata Motors Ltd, India’s biggest car-maker by sales, reported a net profit of 10.01 billion rupees ($A262 million) for the year after sales slipped 11 per cent, but these figures do not include the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

The company announced that capital expenditure would be cut by at least 25 per cent over the next two years.

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