Ford To Take Over Romanian Car Maker

Despite EU criticism of the sale, Ford will formally take over Automobile Craiova by the end of this month.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) β€” Ford Motor Co. will formally take over a Romanian car manufacturer by the end of this month, the prime minister said Wednesday.

Ford was the only bidder for Automobile Craiova in September, paying 57 million euros ($77.9 million) for a 72.4 percent stake in the state-owned company and vowing to invest another 675 million euros ($923 million) to upgrade and expand car production.

Parliament voted 238-15 with five abstentions Tuesday to approve the sale.

The European Union has criticized the sale, accusing Romania of underselling Automobile Craiova to Ford. Regulators have ordered the government to demand Automobile Craiova pay the state the lost revenue from the sale.

The EU executive said the stake was actually worth 84 million euros ($125 million) and the Romanian state lost 27 million euros ($40 million). Romania joined the EU in 2007.

Despite the EU criticism, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said: ''I am happy we can finalize this project ... We can ensure jobs to workers in Craiova.''

''An entire network of suppliers of parts and components will be created, which will become the second major industrial landmark of the automobile industry in Romania,'' he said.
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