Kerkorian sells part of stake in Ford Motor Co.

Financial Crisis Posted on

Kirk Kerkorian's investment firm said Tuesday it sold 7.3 million of its shares in Ford Motor Co. and plans to further cut what is now a 6.1 percent stake, for a potential loss of more than half a billion dollars on the investment.

Tracinda Corp. sold the shares at an average price of $2.43 per share and said it may sell its remaining 133.5 million shares depending on market conditions.

Kerkorian has tried to leave his mark on the Detroit-based automakers over the past decade. But Tracinda said that in light of current economic conditions it now sees "unique value" in other industries such as gambling, hotels, and oil and gas, so it's moving its resources.

Tracinda, which is named after Kerkorian's daughters, Tracy and Linda, has the majority stake in the casino and hotel operator MGM Mirage Inc.

The sale comes just four months after Tracinda purchased 20 million of the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker's shares at market rates to boost his stake to 6.49 percent. Those purchases were announced two days after Kerkorian met with Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford to discuss the company's turnaround plan.

A week earlier, Kerkorian had acquired another 20 million shares through a tender offer for about $170 million, or $8.50 per share. Based on that share price, Kerkorian lost about $44.3 million in Tuesday's sale.

At the time the tender offer was announced, Tracinda said it owned 100 million Ford shares at average cost of $6.91 per share. If the firm sold those shares at Monday's closing price of $2.33 apiece, it would translate to a loss of about $458 million.

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