Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Ford Denies Volvo Cars Potential Sale
If you are reading auto headlines these past few weeks, you might have been confused by now. Why? Because different companies are reporting different versions of the news. So is Ford really planning to sell all of its European brands including Volvo Cars? Let the Ford mirror enlighten us…

Reuters reported Sunday that Ford is considering selling its Volvo Cars business as it assesses the future of its European operations, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The review of Volvo was still at a very early stage and may not result in a sale, the source told Reuters, adding that Ford had so far not hired financial advisers for the operation.

"Ford is not in discussions with any company to sell Volvo, however we are continuing to assess options for all our operations," a London-based spokesman for Ford said, while declining to comment further.

Last week, speculation about a Volvo takeover was fuelled by an interview with BMW Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause in a German newspaper, who had not ruled out takeovers of other carmakers or brands, although he was also quoted as saying any talk of a bid for Volvo Cars was "pure speculation."

The speculation, however, lifted shares in Swedish truck maker Volvo around 5 percent on Thursday and analysts said that there was market confusion for a period as investors mixed up the Swedish truck maker with the Ford-owned auto maker.

Ford, the second-biggest US automaker, said it isn't in talks to sell its profitable Volvo Car Corp business, after reports in the UK and the US said the company may dispose of the Swedish unit.

Ford is not in "any discussions with anyone in relation to selling Volvo," Ford spokesman John Gardiner said in a telephone interview from London yesterday.

The London-based Sunday Times reported yesterday that Ford had decided two weeks ago to sell Volvo for as much as US$8 billion. The Sunday Telegraph, for its part, said that Ford was willing to listen to offers from potential buyers of the automaker and would make a final decision on whether to proceed after completing the sale of its Land Rover and Jaguar businesses.

Ford said last month that it was conferring with investment bankers about options for Jaguar and Land Rover. The Dearborn automaker is trying to restore profit after a record US$12.6 billion loss last year. The Sunday Times reported on July 8 that Ford set a deadline for Thursday for bids to buy Jaguar and Land Rover.

"We've had contact from third parties" about Jaguar and Land Rover, Gardiner said yesterday. "We continue to aggressively evaluate that level of interest." He declined to comment further on yesterday's reports in UK newspapers or to say whether there was a deadline for expressions of interest in Jaguar and Land Rover.
posted by Car Addict @ 1:25 AM  
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