Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Tracinda Buying Ford

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
wild ass rumor of the day tracinda buying ford

This morning, octogenarian investor Kirk Kerkorian bid $8.50 per share for 20m shares of Ford. His offering was 13 percent above FoMoCo's closing share price on Friday. While the total is only a fraction of Ford's $16b market cap, it does create a lot of speculation about his intentions. Tracinda stated they "believe that Ford management under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally will continue to show significant improvements in its results going forward." Just a few minutes ago, we received this statement from Ford:

FORD MOTOR COMPANY STATEMENT ON TRACINDA CORPORATION ANNOUNCEMENT


The following statement is attributable to Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally:

Dearborn, Mich., April 28 -"We welcome confidence in Ford and the progress we are making on our transformation plan. Any investor can purchase Ford shares, which are sold on the open market. The Ford team remains focused on executing our plan to transform Ford into a lean global enterprise delivering profitable growth for all."

After Kerkorian's attempt to take over GM and his bid to buy Chrysler both failed, is The Lion of Las Vegas trying once again to buy a car company? Or is he just making a shrewd investment? With GM struggling to keep its plants open, with Chrysler on the ropes (rumors of bill-paying problems), perhaps Captain Kirk is anticipating the TTAC-foretold dead cat bounce. As always, watch this space.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Apr 28, 2008

    So what you are telling us is that Daimler will likely buy into Ford soon?

  • RobertSD RobertSD on Apr 28, 2008

    But with the Ford family holding 40% voting in the company and all pretty much on board with Mulally's current plan, I doubt that Kirk could do a lot to affect the company. It's not like GM or Chrysler. The best Kirk can be hoping for is a seat on the board for someone in his group and reaping the coming benefits of Ford's apparent turnaround.

  • Windswords Windswords on Apr 28, 2008

    "And why should should the government help GM anyway?" Because they're the biggest, despite their losses, and GM going down the tubes would have far reaching effects in the economy (so would Ford, just not as much). Your points are all valid, and true, and in many ways (actually all ways) they don't deserve it, but that won't matter to the politicians, especially if the congress and Whitehouse are in the hands of the same party.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Apr 28, 2008

    Maybe he already has some sort of deal worked out already with the Ford family. I always wondered what their take on it was to have control over and to have your wealth tied up in a company that was obviously in danger of going under. Maybe they would take a deal rather than lose it all.

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