Ford's Mulally 'Pleased' by Interest in Jaguar, Land Rover


Ford Motor Chief Executive Alan Mulally said Monday he is pleased with the "breadth and depth" of interest in Ford's British luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover.

Gene J. Puskar

Ford is exploring the sale of the two luxury units and continues to talk to potential suitors. The automaker is also reviewing options for its Swedish Volvo brand.

"We are very pleased with the breadth and depth of interest," Mulally told reporters on the sidelines of an event to celebrate the production launch of the redesigned Focus car.

He said the automaker would know more about the progress of the sale of the two units in the next few months.

The U.S. automaker, which has faced scrutiny over how it will raise and maintain liquidity as it restructures its money-losing North American operations, could get a cash-infusion from the sale of the two nameplates.

Ford sold the Aston Martin luxury sports car unit in March.

Potential bidders include buyout firms One Equity Partners, Ripplewood, Terra Firma and TPG, as well as Indian carmaker Tata Motors, sources have said.

Ford has declined to comment on the identity of possible bidders.

The automaker said in June it was working with financial advisers on the best options for Jaguar and Land Rover. Sources have said Goldman Sachs Group, HSBC Holdings and Morgan Stanley are the banks on the deal.

Land Rover expects to be profitable this year, but Ford has struggled to make money with Jaguar. The brand remains the biggest drag on the results of Ford's luxury division.

Ford does not break out financial results of individual brands.

The businesses were given a combined value of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion in March by Merrill Lynch analysts.