When Aston Martin was up for bid a few months ago, billionaires that nobody has ever heard of were coming out of the woodwork to bid on the ultra-luxury lineup. Now Ford is trying to recapture the magic with the sale of its other two premium British Marquees, Jaguar and Land Rover. The problem is, Jaguar is a cash whore and Land Rover doesn't have nearly the cachet of Aston (big surprise). We've heard differing accounts as to the worth of Ford's unwanted PAG members, but Merrill Lynch pegs the number at between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion. That certainly isn't chump change, but it's only marginally better than the $900 million that was paid for smallish Aston. Many of the "small-time" billionaires aren't bothering with this sale, even at lower financials, because they couldn't afford one of Jaguar's big-time losses, and stalwarts like Blackstone are rumored to be out, too. Hyundai and Nissan/Renault don't seem to be interested either.

Ford already brunted a lot of the financial pain for Jaguar when it closed a plant and bought out a lot of workers, and the forthcoming XF should help the bottom line immensely. Land Rover is profitable and has plenty of newer models to keep sales strong for the foreseeable future. We'd be surprised if there weren't a lot of sand-baggers that show up soon looking to get something for next to nothing.

[Source: Auto News - sub. req'd]

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