We reported earlier that Ford was looking to shed Mazda shares but rumours abound that Ford may be getting crafty about the way in which its controlling stake is sold off.
Ford is apparently looking to ensure rival companies are not able to easily buy-in to Mazda and will offer 20 Japanese firms, including insurers, the option to each buy a one-percent stake - leaving Ford with the remaining thirteen-percent.
The tiny slice of Mazda will reportedly set each company back some USD$40million dollars, but with parts maker Denso, various steel companies, and trading companies included in the potential customers list, money shouldn't be an issue despite the dire state of credit markets.
Neither Mazda nor Ford have made an official comment as yet, but there's a chance we could hear news of a deal as early as next month if Japanese media is to be believed. While the decision to split up Ford's current stake in Mazda will inevitably complicate the sale, potentially locking out competing manufacturers makes the concept a compelling one for Ford.