The latest management shuffle comes just two days after Mazda, along with several strategic business partners, decided to acquire a parcel of its own shares from Ford in order to enable the struggling Detroit carmaker to raise some desperately needed capital. As a result, the ratio of Ford’s ownership of Mazda stock will be reduced from 33.45 to just over 13%, with the new agreement allowing the two companies to continue their strategic relationship that spans nearly 30 years.
Ford’s sale of the Mazda stock will be achieved through Mazda and a group of its strategic business partners each buying a portion of the shares. The transaction, to be made in off-hours trading at Monday’s closing price of ¥184 ($1.91) per share will see Ford net almost $540 million.
“The sale of Mazda shares by our partner, Ford, will not result in any change in Mazda’s strategic direction and we will continue to accelerate our product-led brand improvement and cost innovation initiatives,” said former CEO Hisakazu Imaki. “We will continue our strategic relationship through our ongoing joint ventures with Ford, as well as the sharing of platforms and powertrains.”
Ford and Mazda will remain closely linked for some time to come as both carmakers share a number of components and platforms. The Mazda2 and Mazda3, for example, are based on the same platforms as Ford’s new Fiesta and Focus (European), respectively. The two carmakers also plan to continue operations of jointly owned factories in Thailand, China, and the United States.