[ROVERNET - UK] Ford selling Land Rover

Glen Wilson rovercar at comcast.net
Wed Aug 30 08:59:57 BST 2006

I guess most have heard that Ford is very likely to be selling off both 
Jaguar and Land Rover. I wonder who will get the Land Rover product. 
Anyone in England have any cash?

Rumor is that the entire Ford Motor Company is going to be taken 
private. This is somewhat astounding to me, but other large companies 
are doing the same. One reason for this is that they can avoid all of 
the strict new accounting regulations put in place in the USA since 
Worldcom and Enron.


    Ford Considers Selling Jaguar, Land Rover Brands

Ford Motor Co., restructuring after a $1.44 billion first-half loss, may 
sell some luxury-auto brands to an investment group led by former Chief 
Executive Officer Jacques Nasser, four people familiar with the 
discussions said.

The talks focus on Jaguar and Land Rover, said one of the people, who 
didn't want to be identified because the negotiations are private. The 
discussions are with JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s One Equity Partners LLC, 
where Nasser is senior partner for mergers and acquisitions, the people 

Nasser, fired by Ford five years ago, created the company's Premier 
Automotive Group, including European brands Jaguar, Land Rover and 
Volvo. As late as 2004, Ford was counting on the group to generate 
one-third of its automotive profit by 2006. Ford says Premier will lose 
money this year.

Ford, the world's third-largest automaker, has said it is considering a 
range of options after losing money in seven of the past eight quarters 
in North America, its biggest market. On Aug. 2, the auto maker hired 
former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. mergers- and-acquisition specialist 
Kenneth Leet as a strategic adviser.

On Friday, Ford announced the resignation of board member Robert Rubin, 
chairman of Citigroup Inc. and a Ford director for six years. In a 
letter to Chief Executive Officer William Clay Ford Jr., he cited 
potential conflicts of interests because Ford is considering the sale of 
assets and Citigroup has a "multi-faceted relationship" with Ford.

The talks with Nasser, which could result in a joint venture rather than 
an outright acquisition, don't involve Volvo, one of the people said. 
The people wouldn't say whether the discussions have advanced beyond a 
preliminary stage.

Nasser was Ford's CEO from 1999 to 2001. He led the acquisition of Volvo 
AB's car unit for $6.5 billion in 1999, and Bayerische Motoren Werke 
AG's Land Rover unit for $2.7 billion in 2000.

Nasser's clout faded during a controversy over Firestone tires. In 2001, 
the U.S. Department of Transportation investigated at least 271 deaths 
involving tire tread separations, mostly on Ford Explorer sport-utility 

In 2002, Nasser led One Equity Partners' $238 million acquisition of 
bankrupt Polaroid Corp., the pioneer of instant photography. He sold 
Polaroid to Petters Group Worldwide, which owns online auctioneer 
uBid.com, for about $426 million last year.

The talks with Nasser come as Ford loses U.S. market share for the 11th 
consecutive year, a streak that began when Nasser was in charge of 
product development.

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