Ford Fire Sale Won't Be Quick
Land Rover Brands
May Take Months
By STEPHEN POWER
June 18, 2007; Page A18
Ford Motor Co. expects a sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover brands to take at least a month and possibly longer, as the auto giant seeks to drum up interest in the two United Kingdom brands from financial buyers.
The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker has had preliminary talks with Cerberus Capital Management LP about selling the brands to the private-equity company, but the discussions have been inconclusive, according to two people familiar with the matter. In May, Cerberus agreed to buy 80% of the U.S. arm of DaimlerChrysler AG.
A Ford spokesman said Sunday that the company is "not commenting on time lines" and that it is "working with our financial advisors on the best potential outcome for Jaguar and Land Rover."
The Financial Times reported over the weekend that Cerberus had expressed interest in one or both brands.
Industry analysts increasingly expect the company will off-load one or both of the units as it seeks to refocus on its North American operations, which are piling up big losses as high gasoline prices discourage sales of large pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.
A person familiar with the matter said a sale of Jaguar and Land Rover is likely to take at least a month, noting that the sale of Aston Martin took roughly six months from the time Ford announced it was considering selling the division. In March, Ford sold Aston Martin to a group of investors led by David Richards for $848 million.