This week Ford
finally made it official and sold The Hertz Corporation, purveyor of fine rental vehicles for
years, to an investor group for a cool $15 billion. The investor group was comprised of leading private equity firms
like The Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Under the terms Ford will receive $5.6 billion in cash
for relinquishing 100-percent control of Hertz and will therefore see a pre-tax gain of $1.1 to $1.3 billion in the
fourth quarter of 2005. It’ll be nice just to see a little black ink for once, you know?