Citron aims to steer deal for Ford’s Land Rover brand

Ford Motor Co. is unlikely to be taken private, but buyout firms are circling the automaker’s Premier Automotive Group.

Sources tell PE Week that Citron Capital of San Francisco has been working on an offer for Land Rover, while Apax Partners is considering Aston Martin. Earlier press reports also suggest that One Equity Partners has expressed interest in all or part of the unit, with OEP partner and former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser leading the charge.

“Our firm policy is that we don’t comment on any deal—pending, contemplated or otherwise,” said Jonathan Tower, managing director of Citron.

Apax spokeswoman Laura Brightsen declined comment.

Ford’s Premier Automotive Group includes four brands: Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo. Aston Martin is the only one of those officially for sale, but former Goldman Sachs pro Ken Leet—who was retained by Ford last month as a strategic advisor—apparently is listening to additional offers.

Ford is expected to announce a major restructuring tomorrow morning, although it is unclear if any divestitures will be disclosed.