Ford Motor Co is seeking to sell Volvo for as much as $6 billion, and is using JPMorgan Chase & Co as an adviser, Bloomberg reported on its website on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the plan. The report said Ford is counting on the strength of the brand to draw bidders.
A spokesman for Ford could not be reached for an immediate comment. On Monday, Ford said it was reviewing options for Volvo and could sell the luxury Swedish car brand as it looks to shore up cash amid a deep industry downturn. Ford said the review of Volvo was part of its efforts to “strengthen its balance sheet” at a time when auto sales are plunging worldwide.
Indeed on Tuesday, General Motors Corp, Chrysler LLC and Ford posted a drop in combined US sales of nearly 40% for November and warned that the world’s largest vehicle market showed signs of tumbling further in 2009. Ford also asked Congress for up to $9 billion in a government credit line to support its restructuring, saying it expects to break even or be profitable in 2011.
Volvo is the last remaining brand from Ford’s former premium auto group that had included the now-divested Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Earlier this year, Ford sold its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands to India’s Tata Motors Ltd. Ford also agreed to sell about two-thirds of its 33.4% stake in Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Corp for around $538 million in November. (Reuters)