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Rediff.com  » Business » SBI initiates fund-raising for Tata Motors

SBI initiates fund-raising for Tata Motors

March 18, 2008 13:56 IST

State Bank of India-led consortium will raise $3-billion loan by April for Tata Motors' acquisitions abroad, including the $2-billion Jaguar and Land Rover deal.

Apart from SBI, the consortium will include leading entities like Citibank, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Financial Group, a source closely connected to the development told PTI.

The country's largest lender is also in talks with two-three public sector banks to be a part of the consortium, the source said.

"The amount will be raised through short-term bridge financing and the process is expected to be concluded by next month. We are in talks with 2-3 other public sector banks to be a part of the consortium," the source said.

SBI has emerged as the leading merchant banker in the country over the past two years and has sealed around 40 deals worth about $27 billion in 2007-08 contributing significantly to the bank's revenues.

Financiers in the consortium will normally receive commissions in the range of 0.50-1 per cent of the deal amount, but it may vary according to the period of funding and the amount to be raised, the source said.

Though he declined to divulge the amount financed by each member of the consortium, it is understood to be equally contributed by all banks -- about  $37.5 million -- by each entity in the consortium, the source said.

The source said SBI may approach leading state-owned lenders such as Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank which have a strong presence overseas as well as the capacity to raise funds.

Though the amount Tata will have to pay Ford Motors has not yet been disclosed, market source estimate it to be around $2 billion.

Apart from funding the Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) deal, Tata Motors is understood to have plans to utilise the excess amount raised to finance its other strategic plans, including picking up stakes in other companies.

Besides, Tata has financial obligations for its much-hyped Rs 1-lakh small car, the Nano, likely to be launched in October.

Tata Motors, which is India's largest automobile manufacturer, had evinced interest in the British luxury brands of Ford Motors in mid-last year.

Ford's decision to the sell the JLR has been interpreted as the company's incompetency to continue as a profit-making entity in recent years.

The company reported a loss of $12.7 billion for the fiscal ended December 30, 2006, which was followed by the sale of Ford's luxury brand, Aston Martin to a UK-based company for an estimated $848 million in March last year.

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