World Business: U-Turn for Jaguar

Sir William Lyons, 64, founder and chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd., has always been one of Britain's most fiercely independent automakers. Known around his Coventry headquarters as the "Headmaster" for his autocratic rule, he has scoffed at the industry-wide merger trend, maintained that Jaguar would not go on the block "in my lifetime." Last week he made a surprising U-turn: after two years of quiet negotiations, Sir William and British Motor Corp. Chairman Sir George Harriman announced that B.M.C. will buy out Jaguar in a $51 million stock transfer deal.

Shrugging off reporters' questions, Sir William, who will stay on as Jaguar's...

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