Ford to sell bulk of Mazda stake, newspaper says

Ford to sell bulk of Mazda stake, newspaper says Report called 'speculation' by Ford October 15, 2010 - 3:00 pm ET
TOKYO (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to sell a majority of its
stake in Mazda Motor Corp. to Sumitomo group firms and other companies with close business ties with Mazda, the Nikkei business daily reported today.
Ford, the top shareholder in the Japanese automaker with 11 percent stake, is expected to reduce its interest to 3 percent or less, the daily reported.
In a statement, Ford called the report "speculation."
"Ford's ownership stake in Mazda remains unchanged," the statement said. "Ford continues to have a close strategic relationship with Mazda and we cooperate in areas of mutual benefit. We have no further comment on the speculation."
Ford held about 195 million Mazda shares, worth around 42 billion yen ($515.6 million), as of today, the Nikkei said.
Mazda has asked main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Sumitomo Corp., and other major Sumitomo group firms to buy shares from Ford, the business daily said.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking will likely end up owning more Mazda shares than Ford, since the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. unit already holds 2.9 percent of the shares, the business daily said.
Each buyer may get about 1 percent of the outstanding shares, the Nikkei said.
Ford became Mazda's top shareholder in 1979, after buying 25 percent of its outstanding shares. The U.S. company raised its stake to 33.4 percent in 1996, gaining management control over Mazda.
The weaker capital ties after the upcoming share sale are expected to lead to a gradual winding down of business cooperation between the two automakers, the daily said.
Jamie LaReau contributed to this report
Read more:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
Add image file
Upload is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.