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Old 08-24-2006, 07:01   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford considers going private

Ford considers going private
It's one of many options being explored

By Sharon Silke Carty
USA TODAY

Ford Motor is considering taking the company private, a move that could give the ailing automaker time to restructure operations outside the glare of critics, a source with direct knowledge of the discussions said Wednesday.

"The family is willing to look at anything," said the person, who didn't want to be identified because the discussions are ongoing. "A lot of different scenarios are being gamed out."

With Ford's shares closing at an anemic $7.76, going private could cost interested parties as little as $13.34 billion.

The Ford family owns about 5% of Ford's outstanding shares. The family controls 40% of the company through a separate class of stock. The automaker had no comment.

Plummeting pickup sales have derailed Ford's current restructuring plan, laid out last January, and the automaker plans to unveil an accelerated version in September. Through the first half of the year, Ford has lost $1.4 billion.

Top executives have said they are looking at every option available to turn Ford around, including selling off troubled brands such as Jaguar, entering into partnerships with other automakers, slashing its workforce and closing more plants. The company recently hired former Goldman Sachs banker Kenneth Leet to help it explore its options.

"The biggest benefit to taking it private is just not having to answer to all the external stakeholders they have to answer to today," said Kevin Reale, an analyst with AMR Research.

Nearly 600 banks or investment firms own shares in Ford, according to Thomson Financial, and 790 mutual funds also have a stake in the automaker. Sixteen analysts cover Ford, issuing reports to investors when news breaks.

CEO Bill Ford has been criticized for several incidents since taking the job in October 2001. In 2002, he said the automaker would make $7 billion in pretax income in 2006. In April 2005, three weeks after saying it would still meet its goals, it revoked its earnings guidance and said it would no longer meet the $7 billion target, shaking investor confidence.

Ford's shares have traded between $6.06 and $10.20 in the past 52 weeks, giving it a market capitalization of $14.5 billion, a quarter of smaller rival DaimlerChrysler's market cap.

"The assets are tremendously undervalued," said David Cole of the Center for Automotive Research. A private equity firm could be eyeing a future share price of $20 to $40, he said.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 08-25-2006, 20:49   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:Ford considers going private

Ford Family Mulls All Options for Survival

Inside Line

DEARBORN, Mich. — Based on Ford's depressed stock price, it would cost a potential investor a modest $15 billion or less to buy the Ford Motor Company and take it private.

That's less than one-tenth the value of rival Toyota Motor Co. and only a quarter of DaimlerChrysler's market capitalization.

And guess who is interested in a takeover? The Fords themselves.

Ford's stock appears to be so undervalued by Wall Street that the Ford family reportedly is getting serious about raising the money to take the company private, as Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. and his executive team attempt to restructure — and, they hope, revitalize — the struggling automaker.

The Ford family owns about 5 percent of the company's outstanding shares but controls 40 percent through a separate Class B stock.

Bill Ford also had his third conversation with celebrity CEO Carlos Ghosn, who heads the Renault-Nissan alliance, according to reports originally in The Wall Street Journal. Ford reportedly told Ghosn that he'd be interested in talking if Ghosn's talks with General Motors Chairman Rick Wagoner fall apart.

Ford recently hired former Goldman Sachs investment banker Kenneth Leet to help it explore a range of options, including the possible sale of Jaguar, Land Rover and other brands.

What this means to you: If the Ford family elects to take the company private — and persuades Carlos Ghosn to take the reins — Wall Street could be singing a new tune within two years. But what a jolt it will be for the Ford name and all who love it.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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