MUMBAI – The technology of Land Rover, one of two luxury brands placed on the block by Ford Motor Co. makes sense for India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Business Standard said, citing a company official.

Ford has been exploring a sale of Jaguar and Land Rover since June 2007 and said it expects to strike a deal by early next year at the latest for the two brands, which a Merrill Lynch analyst has valued at as much as $1.5 billion combined.

According to Reuters, Tata Motors Ltd., as well as Mahindra with buyout firm Apollo, and One Equity Partners, a buyout firm funded by investment bank JP Morgan are on the shortlist.

"Work is in process. Anand (Mahindra) and Pawan Goenka are looking at options," Hemant Luthra, an executive director, was quoted as saying, referring to the vice chairman and the head of the automotive division.

"The technology that Land Rover has makes sense for M&M", Luthra told the Business Standard.

Mahindra, India's top utility vehicle maker, has a joint venture with Renault to make the no-frills Logan sedan, and is keen to sell its Scorpio sport utility vehicle and pickup trucks in more overseas markets, including the United States.

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata has said they were interested in the brands to reduce dependence on the Indian market and for a more global presence for the company, India's top vehicle maker.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials