'Ford considering selling stake in Ford Credit'
Frankfurt, Aug 28: Ford Motor Co is considering selling a ''significant stake'' in its Ford Credit financing arm as part of a sweeping restructuring at the second-biggest U.S. carmaker, the Detroit News reported.
Citing sources familiar with the discussions, the paper in Ford's home town said on its Web site that the potential deal was one reason Robert Rubin stepped down from Ford's board of directors last week.
Rubin, a former U.S. Treasury secretary, is also a senior official at Citigroup, whose close relationship with Ford could pose a potential conflict of interest should the carmaker make large strategic moves to turn itself around, he has said.
Ford has said in the past it did not intend to sell a stake in lucrative Ford Credit, but of late has said all options are on the table.
''While an option, a deal involving Ford Credit isn't Ford's primary focus as it concentrates on operational issues in the wake of losses and declining market share,'' the paper said.
Rival General Motors sold a majority stake in its financial arm in April to raise money and to help boost credit ratings at the lending business, which would reduce its borrowing costs.
A Ford Europe spokesman in Germany had no comment.
Ford is also exploring the sale of brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover and is weighing whether the company should form an alliance with another automaker or even take the company private.