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Old 08-25-2006, 07:20   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford in talks to sell luxury brands to Nasser-led group

Ford in talks to sell luxury brands to Nasser-led group

DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF

Ford Motor Co. is in talks to sell some luxury-auto brands to an investment group led by former CEO Jacques Nasser, four people familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg News.

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

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 this year. Ford says Premier will lose money this year.

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