Ford Gets Its Blue Oval Back: Six Years Later, Stock Upgrade Caps Automaker's Turnaround Plan [View all]
Ford Motor Co. is getting its blue oval logo back.
Moody's Investors Service raised Ford's debt ratings to investment-grade Tuesday for the first time in seven years. The upgrade means that all of Ford's U.S. assets, including factories, the blue oval and the trademarks for the F-150 pickup and Mustang sports car, are back in the company's hands and will no longer be used to secure the company's debt.
Ford never stopped using its logo or factories, but posted them as collateral in 2006 in order to get a $23.5 billion loan and avoid bankruptcy. Executive Chairman Bill Ford, the great grandson of company founder Henry Ford, said Tuesday that giving up the rights to the oval was "enormously emotional for me personally and for my family."
"This is one of the best days that I can remember," Bill Ford said in a conference call with reporters.
Ford needed investment-grade ratings from two of the three ratings agencies to get its assets back from a group of banks that held them. Fitch Ratings upgraded the company last month. Standard and Poor's has not yet upgraded Ford, and said in March that it didn't expect to change Ford's ratings within the next year.