An employee inspects the bonnet of a Land Rover Defender as it moves down the inspection line at Tata Motors Jaguar Land Rover vehicle-manufacturing plant in Solihull, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON
An employee inspects the bonnet of a Land Rover Defender as it moves down the inspection line at Tata Motors Jaguar Land Rover vehicle-manufacturing plant in Solihull, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/SIMON DAWSON

Mumbai — Tata Group is considering an initial public offering for Jaguar Land Rover, the luxury-car maker the Indian conglomerate bought in 2008 for $2.4bn, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Senior Tata Group officials have held preliminary internal talks over the past few months about the potential listing of Jaguar Land Rover on an international stock exchange, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The conglomerate is weighing London and New York as possible listing venues for Jaguar Land Rover, which is a unit of Tata Motors, one of the people said.

A spokesman for Tata Group, which has 29 listed companies, said "there are no plans to list JLR".

A representative for Tata Motors said "there is no truth in the information", without elaborating.

Shares of Tata Motors rose as much as 2.8% in Mumbai.

Revenue boost

The Indian company has turned around Jaguar Land Rover since buying the business from Ford, helping boost revenue more than sevenfold between 2008 and 2015.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and Tata Group has not made a final decision to pursue an IPO of the business, according to the people.

Details such as timing and the potential fundraising size had not been set, the people said.

Selling stock would help Jaguar Land Rover fund the development of new models and investments in connected-car technologies and autonomous driving systems.

A listing of the business could become one of the first major tasks for Tata Group’s new chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, who took over leadership of the conglomerate in February.

A listing of Jaguar Land Rover would follow sports-car brand Ferrari, whose shares have more than doubled in New York trading over the past year. Aston Martin, the British manufacturer of James Bond’s favourite vehicles, is considering a London IPO as early as next year, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Jaguar Land Rover will invest £4bn in the financial year to end-March 2018, including spending on a new factory in Slovakia, Tata Motors chief financial officer C Ramakrishnan said last month.

Tata Motors had 785.8-billion rupees of gross debt at the end of March, according to an investor presentation posted on its website.

Tata Motors forecast last month that new models and upgrades including the Velar sport utility vehicle will help its luxury unit widen profit margins.

The car maker’s luxury unit last week said it was working with Lyft on autonomous-driving technology and would offer vehicles for rent to the San Francisco-based startup’s drivers.

Bloomberg

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