London - India's Tata Motors is expected
to sign a memorandum of understanding to buy Ford's
luxury UK brands Jaguar and Land Rover in the next two weeks, a
labour union negotiator said on Friday.
There are no roadblocks holding back the deal, but
negotiations have proved complex, added Dave Osborne, national
secretary for vehicle building at the Unite union.
Unite is the main union representing workers at Land Rover
and Jaguar, and has about 12 000 members there.
A separate source close to the deal also said it could be
concluded "within weeks".
Negotiations are now focusing on the future relationship
between Ford and the two luxury brands, which will continue to
take Ford engines and body parts and will share technology and
intellectual property rights, the source added.
Tata, India's top vehicle maker, has been in talks with Ford
since it was chosen as the front-runner to buy the units a few
days into 2008.
"We expect a memorandum of understanding between Ford and
Tata to be signed within the next couple of weeks," Osborne told
Reuters. "At the end of the day, this is between Ford and Tata,
but that's the information we're picking up."
A Ford spokesman said there were no roadblocks and it was
still on track to conclude the deal in early 2008.