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Billionaire Investor Kerkorian Dumps Remaining Ford Shares

Tracinda Corp., the investment vehicle of nonagenarian billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, has sold its remaining shares of Ford, Tracinda said today, completing a process that began in October.

The private-but-not-reclusive Kerkorian (he eats out in Hollywood but has not given an interview in a couple of decades) was briefly Ford's biggest outside investor earlier this year but saw the way the U.S. auto industry was going and said in October he would begin selling his 133.5 million shares of Ford.

The sell-off represents a massive loss for Kerkorian. Shares of Ford are trading today at about $2.15 per share. He paid as much as $8.50 per share for some of his stake.

The sell-off also indicates that Kerkorian has a hunch that, even with a government bailout (that Ford has even said it doesn't need), he does not expect the stock to rebound to break-even levels.

GM and Chrysler received approval for $17.4 billion in bridge loans from Treasury earlier this month in order to stay in business until spring, when a Democratic White House and Congress is expected to release more money for the troubled Big Three.

Kerkorian made his scratch buying and selling airplanes then got into the casino business in Vegas. He has owned big stakes in all three of Detroit's Big Three and has bought and sold MGM movie studio about 15 times. (Three times, really.)

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 29, 2008; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Kirk Kerkorian  
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