Back in 1979; Ford Motor Company took a stake in Mazda a time when the Japanese company was struggling financially. Initially it was a modest 7 percent, but by 1996 it had risen to 33 percent and Ford took management control of the Hiroshima based company. However, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei; the Blue Oval is set to sell almost all it’s remaining shares in Mazda, though the official line from Dearborn maintains this is nothing but ‘speculation.’
If the planned sell-off goes ahead, then it is likely that many of the Ford shares will be offered to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, giving it the largest stake holder interest in the Japanese automaker. At the end of business last Friday, Ford held 195 million shares in Mazda, worth 42 Billion Yen ($516 million).
Although a formal decision is expected to be announced next month, an official statement from Ford declared “our ownership in Mazda remains unchanged. Ford continues to have a close strategic relationship with Mazda and we cooperate in areas of mutual benefit.” Let’s see what happens in November.