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Ford Motor Credit Doubles Debt Sale to $3 Billion

December 12, 2006

Reuters reported that heavy demand allowed Ford Motor Credit to double the size of a debt sale to $3 billion on Monday, days after its parent company sold one of the largest U.S convertible bonds this year.

Ford Motor Credit attracted $16 billion to $20 billion in orders for the sale, which was expected to price late Monday, Reuters reported. Proceeds will be used for ongoing funding of Ford Motor Credit’s automotive loans and leases, said Christine Solie, company spokeswoman.

With investors betting that the struggling automaker will engineer a successful turnaround, Ford sold $4.5 billion in convertible debt — 50 percent more than originally planned —last week to help restructure its North American operations. With its parent company able to raise money, Ford Motor Credit, which is viewed as a stronger credit than its parent company, although the ratings of the two and the performance of their bonds are linked — looked to take advantage of the favorable conditions in the bond market as well.

As a sign of robust demand, prices on convertibles have risen about 104 cents on the dollar, up from their issued price of 100 cents. “We have said we will access the unsecured term debt market when it’s in our best interest and there is demand in the marketplace, and we felt those conditions existed today,” Solie told Reuters.

Ford Motor Credit’s new offering brings its year-to-date corporate bond sales to about 6.75 billion, which is ahead of its $4 billion to $5 billion goal for 2006. The unit sold $2.25 billion in August and $1.5 billion in April.

The company’s new debt is expected to offer yields of about 8.25 percent on a 10-year fixed-rate note and a coupon rate of 305 basis points over the London interbank offered rate for five-year floating rate notes.

Deutsch Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are managing the sale.

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