Blog: Dave LeggettJaguar-LR sell-off latest intelligence/rumours

Dave Leggett | 11 June 2007

Several conversations I have had today lead me to say that it sounds very much like a Jag-Land Rover sale by Ford is imminent. There's not usually this much 'chatter' from different sources if the story is not without some foundation.

Jaguar and LR have indeed been discreetly hawked around, a package buyer for both sought, according to sources (with Volvo to BMW or Renault? It's also unclear what might be happening to Volvo Car, but it's apparently been offered up, too).

From what I can gather, a private equity firm may well be in the frame, but it's not Alchemy (which may explain the straight denial from Alchemy earlier today; maybe Alchemy has put in a bid that has already been rejected or it is preparing a bid and Jon Moulton has a strategy at work in going public).

And it sounds like discussions between Ford and Fiat that ended with Fiat backing off have indeed happened.

Why the rapid about-turn from Ford? It wasn't long ago that Ford was spinning the line that J-LR have a bright future inside Ford (even if a sale was never actually ruled out). The story I'm getting is that the financial position of FMC is rather worse than it looked recently and Ford is having to take this measure. We should have an article on the site considering the 'why?' a little later this evening (UK time).

There are certainly plenty of signs that something is afoot.

We may well hear an announcement from Ford very, very soon. Let's hope the uncertainty for Jaguar and Land Rover does not drag on. One way or another, I reckon Ford is going to have to come clean, pronto.

Who might the private equity 'favourite' firm be? Looking at who missed out on Chrysler might be a reasonable starting point. Blackstone? (I hasten to add that I have no info on this.)


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