Peugeot signals openness to deals after JLR report

The logo of Tata Motors is pictured at at the 37th Bangkok International Motor Show in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Group said on Thursday it was ready to consider potential tie-ups, after the French carmaker’s shares briefly rose on a report that it was in advanced talks with Tata Motors to acquire UK-based Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

The Peugeot maker declined to comment on a report by British news agency The Press Association that a deal was imminent. Tata denied the report, which cited sources referring to an internal “post-sale integration document” describing cost savings.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on media speculation, but we can confirm there is no truth to these rumors,” said a spokesperson for the Indian carmaker, which owns 100 percent of JLR.

PSA shares jumped after publication of the PA report, before falling back after Tata released its statement, and were down 2.85 percent as of 1431 GMT.

“On principle we are open to opportunities that could create long-term value for PSA Group and its shareholders,” said Alain Le Gouguec, a spokesman for the Paris-based manufacturer.

PSA is setting new profitability records even as it continues to integrate Opel/Vauxhall, acquired from General Motors in 2017, and has previously signaled openness to further acquisitions.

The relative fuel-efficiency of its vehicle technologies is a valuable asset as carmakers battle to meet tougher European emissions targets and avoid huge fines.

JLR, by contrast, faces one of the toughest challenges to comply with looming carbon dioxide goals - compounded by the uncertainty and disruption of Britain’s protracted departure from the European Union.

Tata posted a record $4 billion loss for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, and warned that JLR would swing to an operating loss in the full year to March.

Reporting by Paul Sandle and Laurence Frost; additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Andrew MacAskill/Keith Weir