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With 2nd Debt Upgrade Ford Regains Control of Blue Oval Logo

Maker regains control of logo, brands and factories.

by on May.23, 2012

Back from the pawnbrokers: Ford regains control of the Blue Oval logo and other key assets.

Ford is out of hock, so to speak.  With Moody’s Investor’s Services upgrading the maker’s debt to “investment grade,” the second-largest automaker has done more than just fulfill the key goal of CEO Alan Mulally.  It regains control of assets that include its factories, brand names and trademarks and the familiar Blue Oval logo.

While Ford continued to use them it put those and other assets up as collateral in 2006 to secure $23.5 billion in credit.  That move, approved shortly after Mulally joined Ford from Boeing, where he had been a senior executive, helped the maker avoid the bankruptcy that nearly crushed its cross-town rivals General Motors and Chrysler.

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“The key factor in our considering an investment grade rating for Ford was whether or not the company would be able to sustain its strong performance,” said Moody’s senior vice president Bruce Clark. “We concluded that the improvements Ford has made are likely to be lasting.”

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Junk No More, Ford Regains Its Investment Grade Rating

Fitch moves, but will S&P and Moody’s follow?

by on Apr.24, 2012

Ford CEO Alan Mulally gets one of his wishes fulfilled.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally has reason to celebrate after achieving one of the top goals he set after joining the Detroit automaker more than five years ago; Fitch Ratings boosting the maker’s debt to investment grade status.

Though several other key ratings agencies have yet to weigh in, the move by Fitch signals growing confidence that Ford’s turnaround is sustainable – and helps the maker maintain momentum by, among other things, reducing its debt costs.  It is also expected to boost Ford’s standing in the stock market, the upgrade quickly triggering a sharp jump in Ford’s share price.

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“We are very pleased with today’s decision by Fitch,” said Bob Shanks, Ford’s Chief Financial Officer.  “It is an important proof point of the continued progress the Ford team is making with our One Ford plan.  Moving forward, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth for all of our stakeholders. In fact, our One Ford plan includes achieving strong investment grade ratings and maintaining investment grade throughout an economic cycle.”

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Ford Denies Search Underway for Mulally Successor

WSJ report claims four candidates under consideration.

by on Dec.06, 2011

Ford terms "false" a report that a search is now underway to replace 66-year-old CEO Alan Mulally.

Ford Motor Co. terms “false” a report that it has begun the search for a successor to well-regarded CEO Alan Mulally.

A report in today’s Wall Street Journal claimed the maker was looking at four potential candidates to assume the helm for the 66-year-old executive, who many expect to retire within the next year or two.  The WSJ report claims four potential candidates are under consideration, echoing an earlier report on TheDetroitBureau.com that when it comes to finding a successor to Mulally Ford would prefer to draw from the ranks of its current management team.

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But in regards to an ongoing search effort, a Ford statement contends, “The Wall Street Journal story is false. As (Chairman) Bill Ford has consistently said, we will always consider both internal and external candidates for any succession plan, but we do not have a search under way for an external CEO successor.”

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