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Ford nears the sale of Hertz - paper

Ford’s management board is reportedly close to approving the sale of Hertz to a group of buyout firms for more than $15 billion (£8.2bn).

The Carlyle Group, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Merrill Lynch & Co's Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity has placed a bid to acquire Hertz for about $5.5 billion to $6 billion (£3.3bn) in cash plus more than $10 billion (£5.5bn) in debt.

Since Ford announced a loss of $907m (£497m) on its North American automotive business during the second quarter of 2005, speculation on a possible sale of Hertz increased as Ford announced that it was exploring whether to change its relationship with Hertz. This was followed up in June, as Ford instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process for ‘an initial public offering’.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company chairman and chief executive officer Bill Ford has announced a series of executive appointments aimed at restructuring the North America automotive operations and strengthening the progress made in Europe and Asia.

The appointments include:

  • Mark Fields previously the executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, has been named as executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president, The Americas.
  • Mark Schulz, executive vice president of Ford Motor Company responsible for Asia-Pacific, Africa and Mazda, is named executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president, International Operations.
  • Greg Smith, who has been executive vice president for Ford Motor Company and president of the Americas, was elected vice chairman of the company
  • Lewis Booth, group vice president for Ford Motor Company and chairman and CEO for Ford of Europe, was elected executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group.
  • Hans-Olov Olsson, vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president of Volvo Cars, was elected senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Ford Motor Company
  • John Fleming, a company vice president and president of Ford of Europe, was elected group vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president and CEO, Ford of Europe. Flemming will be supported by James Tetreault, who has been director of car manufacturing operations in North America and now becomes vice president, Ford Motor Company and vice president of manufacturing, Ford of Europe.
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