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Freeing Ford's Logo From Debtors' Prison - BusinessWeek
By Keith Naughton on May 17, 2012

Six years ago, Ford Motor (F) was running out of time and money. To save the company, Henry Ford’s great-grandson had to do something the founder never could have imagined—sign away the family name. In order to secure a $23 billion loan, a syndicate of banks led by Citibank (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) demanded as collateral the rights to the blue oval logo that surrounds the Ford name on the nose of millions of cars. “When we had to hock the blue oval, that was a very tough thing,” recalls Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman. “I will never forget signing those papers. My heart stopped for a moment. It will start beating again when we get it back.”...

...Now Ford is on the verge of reclaiming control of its insignia. The company has paid off $21 billion of the $23 billion loan and on April 24 recovered its investment-grade credit rating from Fitch. According to the covenants of the loan, once a second major rating agency lifts Ford to investment grade, the automaker gets back all the major assets it put up as collateral. “It’s going to be great,” Bill Ford says of reclaiming the logo. “It’s a very personal thing to me and members of our family.”...

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Mercury C557
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...Now Ford is on the verge of reclaiming control of its insignia...
The Return of the Ford Blue Oval - social.FORD.com
Cole Quinnell,
5/22/2012

...Today, we received notice that Moody’s Investors Service has lifted the Ford credit rating to investment grade. The blue oval is back.

“We are so proud of today’s decision by Moody’s and the resulting release of all collateral – particularly the Ford Blue Oval,” said Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company. “This is an important milestone and further proof that, by staying laser-focused on our One Ford plan, the Ford team can deliver great products, build a strong business and contribute to a better world even through the most challenging external environment.”

There is an enormous psychological impact on Ford and all of our employees; it means our plan is working and that the difficult turnaround we’ve faced is being appreciated by the market. But more than that, having investment grade credit means we can continue to go further in our plan:

• Have more certain and lower cost access to liquidity from banks and investors without having to pledge our assets as security
• Invest in new products and plants, thereby creating jobs...


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human Blue Oval of Ford employees celebrate the news


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elsewhere it was pointed out that the improved credit rating can also lead to reducing Ford Credit's funding costs, which may mean better lease and loan packages.
 

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Ford is the best automaker for me! Normally, one should never believe threats from a collector saying they will have an individual thrown in prison. However, many people are getting tossed in the clink, as some collectors are using the courts to enforce a legitimate trick called “body connection.”
 

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Mr Mulally`s job is done. Thanks on behalf of the millions of Ford's fans.

Are you ready to save Microsoft, Mr M?
 
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