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Ford to off-load Mazda

2010-11-17 07:17

CHINA: Ford will sell off part of its Mazda stake to allow the American carmaker to focus more on its Chinese operations.

Tokyo - Ford will sell most of its remaining stake in Japanese automaker Mazda, with trading house Itochu Corp and general contractor Kajima Corporation among nearly 10 firms that will buy shares, Japanese news media have reported.

Ford, which wants to sell its stake to gain more flexibility in its Chinese operations, concluded talks with potential buyers on Tuesday, the Nikkei business daily said.

The sale will leave it with a stake of three or four percent in Mazda.

Sources told Reuters last month that Ford would sell most of its remaining 11 percent stake in Mazda and that trading house Sumitomo  and other Japanese Mazda business partners were in talks to buy the shares.

In Wednesday's report the Nikkei said Itochu and Sumitomo would each buy a three percent stake for about 10 billion yen ($119.7-million).

Mazda's main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, which already holds a 2.9 percent stake in the automaker, would also buy more shares, the daily said. The rest will go to companies that deal with Mazda, such as materials and parts suppliers, the Nikkei said.

Company officials at Itochu, Kajima, Mazda and Sumitomo declined an opportunity to comment.

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