Back in April, Kirk Kerkorian claimed he wanted to buy an extra 20 million shares of Ford Motor Co. That would have given him a total of 120 million shares and 5.6% of the Dearborn-based automaker. We learn today that Kerkorian took advantage of the demand for his offer of $8.50 per share and bought more than twice the amount of shares he originally intended. Tracinda Corp., Kerkorian's investment company, now owns 140.8 million shares of FoMoCo and a 6.49% stake in the automaker. He also now has a full $1 billion invested in the Dearborn automaker and has made it known that he is behind Ford's turnaround effort. This increased investment is surely putting your money where your mouth is.
The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission hints that Kerkorian might sink more funds into Ford in order to save its money-losing U.S. operations. Kerkorian will also likely be in a position where he feels comfortable suggesting business strategies to get Ford back in the black. That could make him what they call an activist investor, a title Kerkorian's held at Chrysler and GM in the past. So much for those theories that he might remain hands-off.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Kerkorian just met a couple of days ago to talk about Ford's turnaround plan. Now that Kerkorian owns more of FoMoCo than the Ford family itself who owns just 3%, some might be scared by the quick move Tracinda has made. Never fear for the Ford family, however, as their minor stake is comprised of a special class of stock that gives them 40 percent of the voting power.
[Source: Automotive News, sub req, Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty]