Ford’s Booth Guards Cash to Steer Clear of U.S. Aid
One of the first decisions Lewis Booth made after stepping into the job as Ford Motor Co. chief financial officer in November was tapping a $10.1 billion revolving credit line to preserve the company’s access to cash.
Some Ford executives didn’t want to take on more debt and interest as sales plummeted. Others argued that the company should take the cash before it vanished as the credit markets deteriorated. Booth settled the debate, opting to tap the money.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford cites that move as helping ensure the automaker would not have to accept federal aid to continue operating, as competitors General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have done.
“Our plan was, is and is going to be to thread the needle” of not taking federal aid, Ford said in an interview. “Lewis has pushed our company to get out ahead of our issues and not to react.”
Booth, son of a Liverpool car dealer, also drove the largest debt restructuring Ford has undertaken to retire as much as $10.4 billion. He is also helping to lead the effort to sell Volvo, Ford’s lone remaining European luxury car brand.
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This article was originally posted on Bloomberg