Ford family members weigh stake sale: Bloomberg
Our Corporate Bureau
14 May 2007
Members of Ford Motor Co's promoter family are weighing the sale of a part of their controlling stake in the automaker, agency reports said, quoting unnamed sources.
The move comes after shareholders voted down a proposal at its annual general meeting to strip the Ford family's Class B shares, which represent less than four per cent of outstanding shares, of its 40 per cent voting power.
The status of discussions by the Ford family was not immediately clear, but the prospect of a sale of the number two automaker comes as its smaller rival Chrysler Group faces sale to a private equity firm.
Ford chairman Bill Ford Jr., the great grandson of founder Henry Ford, and the company's chief executive Alan Mulally have defended the dual stock structure as a benefit to shareholders.
Bill Ford Jr. had briefed directors on the Ford family members' views before the shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reported, while some family members last month sought to hire investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to advise on a share sale or alternative strategies.
The news comes as Ford attempts to engineer a turnaround from last year's record $12.6 billion loss and Cerberus Capital Management's near deal to acquire Detroit's No 3 automaker, the Chrysler Group.