Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corporation has said it plans to make a cash offer of US$8.50 per share for up to 20m slices of Ford.

The offer price represents a 13.3% premium over Ford’s closing price on Friday, according to the Associated Press (AP).

AP said Tracinda already owns 100m Ford shares, or 4.7% of the outstanding stock and its stake will rise to 5.6% offer is completed.

Tracinda reportedly said Ford’s first quarter results reinforced that the company is having success in its turnaround efforts, despite the difficult US economy. It believes the automaker will continue to “show significant improvements”, the AP report added, noting that the offer is not subject to financing.

Ford chairman Bill Ford and president and CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement: “We welcome confidence in Ford and the progress we are making on our transformation plan.

“Any investor can purchase Ford shares, which are sold on the open market.

“The Ford team remains focused on executing our plan to transform Ford into a lean global enterprise delivering profitable growth for all.”