Toyota Motor Co. said Wednesday it has struck a deal with a Canadian automaker to help finance its $1,3 billion deal to buy its main U.S. rival, Ford Motor Co., with interest rates starting at just under 5 percent, making it a strong bet for Ford’s stock.
The automaker has long said it needs the funding to remain competitive and will need the money to make its new car and truck plants in the U.K. and Canada viable, which will be crucial for its long-term future.
The company also said it would increase its debt to $3.5 billion.
“Toyota is the leader in vehicle and mobility products, and the world’s largest automaker, and we look forward to building on our momentum to deliver our ambitious plans to the global market and expand our footprint,” Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement.
The announcement comes a day after Toyota unveiled its financing deal to fund the acquisition of Ford’s U.T.R. manufacturing operations in North America, with interest rate ranging from 4.75 percent to 6.75% and the purchase price expected to be around $8 billion.
Toyota’s deal with Canadian automakers will enable the company to continue to operate in both the U and Canada, Fields said.
Ford will continue operating its North American operations, including its Ford Focus and Fiesta brands, in Canada, which Fields said will continue to be the company’s No. 1 market for vehicles.
The deal also gives Toyota greater leverage in the global auto industry by giving it access to Ford’s global workforce, Fields added.
“This agreement gives Ford a better opportunity to build its long term future, and will help to ensure our future success and future profitability,” Fields said, adding that Ford has been making progress in the North American market in recent years, despite continued struggles with U.C.N. sanctions and a downturn in global auto sales.
Ford Motor shares fell 0.8% to $42.55 in morning trading.
Toyota Motor’s shares rose 0.7% to 1,811 yen in Tokyo.
Toyota and Ford have long been partners in auto sales, with Toyota making more than $200 billion in automotive sales in 2016.
Toyota will be responsible for the $1 billion in financing for the purchase, according to a statement from the automaker.
“The financing will enable us to continue operating our Ford U.H.L. plants in North American and the worldwide U.U.S., and support the expansion of our Toyota U.L.’s operations,” Fields added in the statement.
Ford has long had ambitions to expand into the U, but Fields said last year that the automakers plans to expand production at its Ford plants in Mexico, China and Europe had not been finalized.
Ford shares rose more than 7% in after-hours trading.
In 2016, Ford sold a record 1.5 million vehicles in the United States, and its U.P.L., which makes a number of its products, fell 8% last year.
The U.N.-backed sanctions on the sale of North American carmaker vehicles and fuel products have also hurt Ford’s market share, as consumers have lost faith in their auto-centric brands, and companies like Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co. have struggled to keep up.
“We expect to continue making a significant investment in our U. U. business, and to continue expanding our global footprint as we build out our next generation of mobility solutions,” Fields told analysts.
Toyota shares rose 1% to 2,823 yen in morning trade.