The Christmas break has delayed the formal announcement of Tata Motor's £1 billion takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover.
Ford, which is selling the two Midland carmakers, wants to tell its workers itself before the news becomes public. Although the deal has been sealed, the plants across the Midlands are currently entering their Christmas shutdown. Workers will return to the Castle Bromwich and Lode Lane plants on January 2, when they could be told the outcome.
A source said Ford has given Tata preferred bidder status over Mahindra and Mahindra and One Equity Partners, but because the American carmaker wants to speak to the workforce first, the deal won't be formally announced until the new year. The purchase is still going through and there have been no hitches, said the source. Executives at both Ford and Tata, who have arrived in the UK, are thought to be celebrating sealing the deal. A Ford spokesman said there would be no announcement today.
The impending Tata takeover has been welcomed by industry figures. Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, head of Warwick Manufacturing Group, said: "Assuming all the reports are accurate and Tata has indeed clinched the deal, then it would be the best thing that has happened for the Midlands car industry in years