Signifying a final retreat from his expensive and unprofitable gambit made for a significant holding in Ford, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian has finished selling his Ford shares. At the peak of Kerkorian's holdings in Ford, he owned nearly 7% of the company's stock, spending more than $1 billion to acquire it all.
Now, 133.5 million shares later, Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation holds nothing, though it has lost a good deal of money in the turnabout, having purchased the Ford shares at an average price of $7.10 according to Automotive News. Ford's shares have been hovering between a low of $1.02 and the mid-$3 range over the last several months - low enough to guarantee that Tracinda's investment has been halved at the least.
Despite the sell-off and the low share prices, however, Ford remains the best-positioned of the Detroit Three carmakers, managing to scrape by without the need of government loans. General Motors and Chrysler are both preparing to receive their first disbursement of funds today.
Kerkorian has been very active in the U.S. auto industry over the past couple of years. In what may have turned out to be a fortunate twist, Kerkorian's unsuccessful bid for Chrysler last year saw private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management take the reigns, and before that he held a 9.9% stake in GM. He offloaded his shares in GM back in 2006 following the rejection of a proposed tie-up with Renault-Nissan that he presented to the management board.