Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ford set to sell 20% Mazda stake

Mazda cars
Ford first bought a stake in Mazda in 1979

Troubled US carmaker Ford Motor is selling a 20% stake in Japan's carmaker Mazda Motor, the Japanese company has said.

Ford owns a 33.4% stake in Mazda. The move will reduce it to just over 13%.

Ford has been hit hard by falling sales around the world and is seeking to raise cash along with its Detroit competitors.

Shares in Mazda jumped 6.4% on Tuesday on reports about the possibility of the stake sale.

General Motors has sold its 3% stake in Japanese carmaker Suzuki for $230m (156m).

Declining value

The possible sale of a 20% stake in Mazda was first reported more than a month ago.

At that moment, the stake was valued at $850m. However, based on Mazda's share price on Tuesday, the value of the holding has fallen to $543m.

Ford first bought a stake in Mazda in 1979. It took control of the Japanese carmaker in 1996, saving it from potential bankruptcy.

According to media reports, Ford's stake in Mazda may be bought by trading houses Sumitomo and Itochu, Japanese insurance companies, car parts maker Denso, as well as by Mazda itself.

The "Big Three" US car firms Chrysler, Ford and GM are seeking a total $25bn in emergency US government loan.

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