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Jaguar, Land Rover bids roll in

2007-11-01 07:52
London - Ford expects to receive at least five second-round bids for its European luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover this week, said people familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

Indian carmaker Tata Motors and buyout firms One Equity, Ripplewood, and TPG are all expected to have made offers by Friday, said the sources, adding that British financier Guy Hands's Terra Firma may also make an offer.

A sixth bidder is also expected by Ford to make a second-round, non-binding, offer for the brands, said one of the sources, who declined to name the suitor. Some, such as TPG, had already submitted their offers on Monday.

Buyout firm Cerberus, which had been involved earlier in the process, is set not to make an offer, said the sources.

The US carmaker has indicated it wants to meet the bidders over the weekend to discuss their offers, said a second source.

Ford then plans to further whittle down the field to two or three bidders it can take into another round and ask to submit binding offers, said the sources.

"We are still looking at the end of this year or the beginning of next to conclude the process," said a spokesperson for Ford. "We have been very impressed with the quantity and quality of bids made for the Jaguar-Land Rover business.

The spokesperson declined to comment further.

Cerberus, TPG and Terra Firma declined to comment.

Ford has been exploring the possible sale of the brands since June as it continues a strategic review of its global operations which has already led to the sale of Aston Martin in March.

Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy at the time had valued the two brands at as much as $1.5bn combined.

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