Ford is to sell Automobile Protection Corporation to Trident IV, a private equity fund managed by Stone Point Capital.

This agreement follows Ford's review of strategic options for non-core operations of its business announced on 11 October, 2006.

The sale is subject to contractural conditions and regulatory approvals. As usual, terms and conditions were not disclosed.

Wholly-owned subsidiary APCO was purchased by Ford in July 1999 as part of acquisitions made on former CEO Jac Nasser's watch as he tried to diversify the automaker into business sectors not directly connected with vehicle and parts production.

APCO offers vehicle service contracts and related after-market products to dealers of all makes and models.

Stone Point Capital is a global private equity firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut that manages the Trident Funds and has raised more than $8bn capital to invest in insurance and financial services industries.