TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp., in a move designed to bolster its balance sheet, has sold and leased back a number of properties in Japan.
Mazda will sell several tracts of land for a combined ¥38.2 billion, or about $363.5 million at current exchange rates, well above the $146.4 million at which the land had been carried on Mazda's books.
Mazda said that the profit from the sale already had been included in the company's profit forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2000.
The sites include Mazda's r&d center in Yokohama, training facilities in Hiroshima, distribution facilities in Chiba city and Hekinan city, and dealer outlets in Tokyo and elsewhere.
The Yokohama site was formerly owned by Ford Motor Co., which had planned to build a car factory there in the 1930s. However, the Japanese military-dominated government blocked that plan. After World War II, Ford traded the tract of land for its initial 25 percent stake in Mazda.
Ford now owns 33.4 percent of Mazda.
The land is being sold to MPV Ltd., a company set up in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands expressly to buy, sell and lease back real estate.