TOKYO (AP) -- U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. will reduce its 11 percent stake in Mazda to about 3 percent this week by selling the shares to Japanese companies, Japan's top business daily The Nikkei reported Wednesday.
Without citing any sources, the Nikkei said Tokyo-based trading conglomerate Itochu Corp. is among about 10 Japanese companies buying Mazda shares from Ford. It said Itochu and another trading company will buy about 3 percent of Mazda for 10 billion yen ($120 million).
Hiroshima-based Mazda Motor Corp. said Wednesday's Nikkei report was not based on anything it had said. Any decision would be announced at an appropriate time, Mazda said.
Ford Japan spokesman Katsumi Tanaka had no comment.
The Nikkei said Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, already an investor in Mazda, will buy additional shares.
Last month, Mazda President and Chief Executive Takashi Yamanouchi expressed hopes the partnership with Ford will continue.
They have been working together to develop models, share auto parts and help each other in overseas markets.
Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, became Mazda's biggest shareholder in 1979 when the maker of the Miata roadster and RX-8 sportscar was near collapse.
Ford raised its stake to 33.4 percent in 1996, but reduced that to 13 percent in 2008. That has since declined to about 11 percent because Mazda issued shares.