AM Online

Ford family stays in control at carmaker

The Ford family has retained control over the Ford Motor Company by defeating a motion to implement a one-share-one-vote policy at the Detroit-based manufacturer.

The proposal was put forward at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders last week. Although 27% of shareholders voted in favour, 73% voted against.

The Ford family currently controls 40% of the company even though it holds less than 4% of the stock. Each Ford family share carries 16 votes, while an ordinary share represents a single vote.

A similar proposal also failed in 2006.

Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry, said that investors were still attracted by the long-term stability provided by the family’s involvement.

He welcomed investment in Ford by US billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, the three-time owner of moviemaker MGM, and thanked Kerkorian’s Tracinda holding company for its confidence in Ford’s business plan. It is building a 5.6% stake through a tender offer.

In 2006 Kerkorian bought a 10% stake in General Motors before selling it within a year after failing to force GM into a three-way alliance with Nissan and Renault.

Kerkorian also made an unsuccessful $4.5 billion bid to acquire Chrysler in 2007.

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