Despite denials from the conglomerate Tata Motors, rumours persist that a potential IPO of the company’s luxury unit, Jaguar Land Rover, may be just around the bend.
The rumour got out of first gear on 19 June 2017, when Bloomberg reported that sources close to the company were convinced that a listing was possible.
The luxury side of the company has been completely transformed since Tata Motors took it over in 2008 from Ford Motor co, in a deal worth an estimate $2.4bn. Between 2008 and 2015, revenues for the luxury branch increased sevenfold.
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Any float would see Jaguar Land Rover follow in the footsteps of Ferrari – whose value more than doubled last year on the NYSE – in going public.
According to sources, rival luxury car manufacturers McLaren and Aston Martin could be tailgaiting the Jaguar in pursuit of floats of their own, with both recently making noises that indicate a public listing could be en route. However, the are some doubts the float will go ahead, with a representative of Tata stating that ‘there is no truth in the information.’ Saying that, the Tata Group has experience with floats and currently has 29 listed companies.
Part of the reasoning given for this potential IPO is that raising money through the sale of shares would help Jaguar Land Rover gather the required funds to develop new models and invest into autonomous driving systems. As news of the rumoured IPO broke, the company announced that the Range Rover Velar Sport should help further widen the profit margins for the luxury branch of the conglomerate.
Tata Motor’s Indian operations have apparently lost money in two of the last three years, so an IPO of the profitable luxury branch could be just the trick to help turbo boost this side of the business.