Kerkorian’s Tracinda Offers to Buy 20m Shares of Ford Common Stock
…at a plumped-up price of $8.50 per share, too
by David Surace
This morning Kirk Kerkorian’s holding corporation, Tracinda, made it possible for thousands of auto-heads to forego their morning coffee with the announcement that it plans to make a cash offer for 20 million common shares of Ford Motor Co. stock, which would be added to the 100 million shares they already own. The total would end up at about 5.6% of Ford’s total outstanding shares, which is certainly not hostile takeover territory. The price they offered, $8.50 per share, is actually 13.3% higher than Friday’s closing price of $7.50 a share.
Whether Kirk & Co. made the decision based on the 13.3% figure or went with the “let’s just make it a buck more” strategy is still up for debate. More brilliant analysis after the jump.
This news comes somewhat warm on the heels of Ford’s announcement last week that it tendered an actual profit ($100m USD) during Q1 of this year, thanks to brilliant products overseas and a smaller-than-expected loss Stateside. Far from being coincidental, the Tracinda purchase is considered a good-faith maneuver, or perhaps just good old-fashioned investorship: “Tracinda believes that Ford management under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally will continue to show significant improvements in its results going forward.”
The rest, as they say, is in the full text of the press release.
PRESS RELEASE: Tracinda Announces Tender Offer for 20,000,000 Shares of Common Stock of Ford Motor Co.
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tracinda Corporation today announced that it intends to make a cash tender offer for up to 20,000,000 shares of common stock of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) at a price of $8.50 per share. The offer price represents a 13.3% premium over Ford’s closing stock price of $7.50 on April 25, 2008 and a 38.7% premium over Ford’s closing stock price on April 2, 2008, the day upon which Tracinda began accumulating shares in the company.
The shares to be purchased pursuant to the offer represent approximately 1% of the outstanding shares of Ford Motor Company common stock. Tracinda Corporation, of which Kirk Kerkorian is the sole shareholder, currently owns 100,000,000 shares of Ford common stock, which represents approximately 4.7% of the outstanding shares. Tracinda’s average cost for such shares is approximately $6.91 per share. Upon completion of the offer, Tracinda would beneficially own 120,000,000 shares of Ford common stock, or approximately 5.6% of the outstanding shares.
Tracinda has been following Ford closely since the company released its fourth quarter 2007 results which indicated that Ford’s management was starting to achieve highly meaningful traction in its turnaround efforts. Last week this was reinforced by Ford’s first quarter 2008 results, achieved despite the difficult U.S. economic environment. Tracinda believes that Ford management under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally will continue to show significant improvements in its results going forward.
Once the tender offer is commenced, offering materials will be mailed to Ford stockholders and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ford stockholders are urged to read the offering materials when they become available because they will contain important information.
The tender offer will be subject to customary conditions for transactions of this type, including expiration of any applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. Tracinda’s offer will not be subject to financing.