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
Ford, the top shareholder in the Japanese automaker with 11 percent
stake, is expected to reduce its interest to 3 percent or less, the
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
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