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Report: Ford ponders privatisation

The automobile maker is considering a going-private transaction, according to a report in USA Today, citing a ‘source with direct knowledge of the discussions’.

USA Today today reported that Ford Motor – 40 percent controlled by the Ford family – is considering going private in an effort to restructure out of the glare of the public eye, citing a “source with direct knowledge of the discussions”.

Since 2001, the beleaguered car-maker’s shares have fallen from $20 per share to under $8 today. The company has a market capitalisation of $14.6 billion (€11.4 billion). But the company has long-term debt valued at more than $154 billion. Last year Ford reported net income of just over $2 billion, although since then its sales have deteriorated in part due to consumers avoiding SUVs amid rising oil prices.  

In related news, reports have surfaced that UK construction machinery company JCB has expressed interest in buying Ford’s Jaguar division.

The Ford family, led by chairman and CEO William Clay Ford, owns a 5 percent stake in the outstanding shares, but controls 40 percent of the company through a separate class of stock.

A source told USA Today: “The family is willing to look at anything. A lot of different scenarios are being gamed out.”