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Tata closes in on Ford luxury brands

Ford Motor Company has announced that fellow family-owned firm Tata Motors, part of the Tata Group, has been chosen as the highest bidder for its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 after BL Ltd floated it on the London Stock Exchange, and Land Rover was sold by BMW in 2000.

In a statement, Lewis Booth, Ford executive vice-president, said that the company "is committed to focused negotiations at a more detailed level with Tata Motors concerning the potential sale of the combined Jaguar Land Rover business.

"There is still a considerable amount of work to do, and while no final decision has been made, we will proceed with further substantive discussions with Tata Motors over the forthcoming weeks with a view to securing an agreement that is in the best interests of all parties concerned," the statement concluded.

The sale of these two luxury brands is part of Ford's strategy to restructure the business to operate more profitably following a $12.7 billion loss in 2006. Early in 2007, the firm sold its Aston Martin brand for $848 million but held onto a $77 million stake.

For the third quarter of 2007, Ford reported a $380 million loss compared to the $5.2 billion loss of the previous year.  

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