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Ford Motor’s (NYSE:F) debt ratings were raised to investment-grade by Moody’s Investors Service for the first time in seven years on Tuesday. This will help Ford get back assets, including its blue logo, it used as collateral in 2006 to get a $23.5 billion restructuring loan.
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Ford needed two ratings agencies to upgrade it to investment grade to get the assets back, and Fitch Ratings upgraded the company last month.
Moody’s said it believes Ford can maintain its investment grade rating even in the face of a European downturn and that the move reflects the automaker’s strength in North America.
“The Ford upgrade reflects a repositioning of the rating based on operating performance which has significantly exceeded our expectations during the first half of 2010,” Moody’s said in a statement. “Moreover, we believe that the company is well positioned to continue generating strong earnings and cash flow through 2011, and to further strengthen its balance sheet.”
Interbrand, which tracks brand values, has said the Ford logo is worth $7.5 billion.
“The Ford Blue Oval is back where it belongs with the Ford family of 166,000 employees around the world,” company chairman Bill Ford said. “The Ford Blue Oval is one of the most recognized symbols in the world, and it is a source of great pride and passion, both inside and outside our company. Getting the Ford Blue Oval back feels amazing, and it is one of the best days that I can remember.”
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