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Tata might pay more than $2 billion for Jaguar, Land Rover

Automotive News | January 18, 2008 - 9:00 am EST

MUMBAI (Reuters) -- India's Tata Motors may pay much more than an expected $2 billion for Ford Motor's Jaguar and Land Rover brands because of pension liabilities and the cost of Ford's future support, an Indian paper reported today.

Earlier this month Ford named Tata Motors, which unveiled the world's cheapest car last week, as the front-runner to buy its luxury brands and said it would proceed with "focused negotiations at a more detailed level".

The Times of India reported, citing sources close to the deal, that Tata Motors was negotiating 15 to 20 long-term pacts with Ford, which supplies engines, key components and technology for the European brands.

The buyer of the brands would also need Ford's research facilities to upgrade the products, the paper quoted sources as saying.

The paper said Ford spokesman John Gardiner would not answer specific questions on the negotiations, saying it was a confidential process.

"However, I can say that we are in substantive and detailed discussions with a view to securing an agreement," he told the paper.

A spokesman for Tata Motors declined comment.

Ford is being advised on the deal by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Morgan Stanley. Citigroup Inc and JP Morgan Chase & Co are advising Tata.

Earlier this month Ford named Tata Motors as the front-runner to buy its luxury brands.

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