With the recent hiring of M&A expert Kenneth Leet as a personal
advisor to Wee Willie Clay it's certainly a signal that those Bold Moves we've long heard about at FoMoCo may actually happen. It's also brought about a great deal of speculation, some even of a wild-ass nature, on what he's going to be doing there. As an M&A expert, and with signals of "For Sale" signs popping up all over the place, it's safe to assume a couple of pieces of Henry's empire may be up for the taking to folks interested in swallowing a bit of FoMoCo. David Kiley says as much in BusinessWeek this past week. But here's a...
...question. Why? Wer're not saying it's a bad idea, just curious as to the need.
There's a couple of potential answers, with one of them being the possibility, and a real one at that, of the need for liqudity in restructuring operations. And not just liquidity to pay for crap like employee buyouts. Especially in the wake of FoMoCo's restatement of profits this past quarter combined with sales numbers of money makers like the F-150, and after seeing the kudos the General got for showing operating profits buoyed by sales of divisions and stakes in other automakers, FoMoCo may be making a "Bold Move" of trying to show operating profits next quarter by selling itself off fire-sale style.
That's one potential speculative reason. What about another, more private reason? What if Wee Willie Clay's sick of having to answer to the market all the time? One of the possibilities is he may be looking to build a cash chest to do some stock-buybacks...like all of the public shares. Is that "wild-ass speculation?" Yes, but with market cap at only $13 billion, it certainly makes for a potentially realistic and interesting story, don't it? It's certainly more of a "Bold Move" than some of the other ideas.
What Is Ford Worth? [Business Week]
Report: Ford Planning Sale of Land Rover, Jaguar? [internal]