Ford Sells Service Contracts Unit

Terms aren't disclosed.
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said Friday it will sell Automobile Protection Corp., a subsidiary that offers vehicle service contracts to dealers, to a private equity firm for an undisclosed amount.

Trident IV LP, a private equity fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC, will buy the business from the No. 2 U.S. automaker as it struggles in the midst of a sweeping restructuring effort.

The terms of the deal stayed under wraps, but Ford is raising cash and paring down its operations in an effort to regain a competitive foothold in the global auto industry.

On Thursday, the company reported a 13% decline in U.S. auto sales, reflecting its continued inability to hold on to its market share as lower-cost, foreign-based competitors such as


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gain favor with consumers.