Ford
has announced that it will reduce its stake in Mazda from 11 percent to 3.5 percent by November 19. The move is part of the Blue Oval's plan to slim its belt line and become a more flexible company in the future. Of course, drumming up the kind of cash comes from selling off 7.5 percent of Mazda likely isn't hurting anyone's feelings in Dearborn, either. The stock will be sold to a number of other Mazda business partners through the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Even so, Ford will remain the biggest Mazda shareholder at 3.5 percent.

Ford has had a long history of partnership with the Japanese automaker. The two joined forces in 1979 when FoMoCo snapped up a seven-percent stake in Mazda, and by 1997, Ford had a controlling interest in the company with a 33.9-percent stake. But when the 2008 automotive implosion hit, Ford quickly sold a sizable 20-percent share to drum up cash, leaving the American automaker with a still sizable 13.9-percent slice of Mazda. When Mazda recently issued more shares of its company, that stake withered even further to the 11 percent we see today.

Even so, Ford says that the two companies will continue to share information and technology moving forward. Hit the jump for press releases from both Mazda and Ford.

[Sources: Mazda, Ford]
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Ford to Change Ownership Stake in Mazda
- The two companies will continue their strategic partnership -

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation today received notification from Ford Motor Company that Ford will transfer part of its shares in Mazda to several of Mazda's business partners.

Ford's current stake in Mazda is 11 percent. After completion of the share transfer, Ford will continue to be one of Mazda's largest shareholders with a stake of 3.5 percent. In the best interests of Mazda's stakeholders and other shareholders, the remaining 7.5 percent will be transferred to Mazda's business partners via off-auction trading through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Mazda and Ford have agreed to continue their strategic partnership and this change in shareholding will not affect Mazda's business direction or financial projections.

"Ford will remain one of Mazda's largest shareholders with a 3.5- percent stake, and both companies are committed to continuing our strategic partnership which spans over 30 years," says Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi. "Mazda and Ford will continue to collaborate on areas of mutual benefit such as key joint ventures, joint projects and exchange of technology information."


FORD TO CHANGE STAKE IN MAZDA; BOTH COMPANIES REMAIN COMMITTED TO STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP


DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 18 – Ford Motor Company today announced it will change its stake in Mazda Motor Corporation to 3.5 percent from 11 percent. The transaction is expected to be completed Friday.

Ford said the decision to reduce its ownership stake in Mazda allows it to increase flexibility as it continues to pursue growth in key emerging markets. Ford said it plans to remain one of Mazda's largest shareholders and remains committed to its strategic partnership with Mazda, which spans more than 30 years.

Ford and Mazda will continue to cooperate in areas of mutual benefits such as key joint ventures and exchange of technology information, Ford said.

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