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Ford closer to reclaiming its logo

DETROIT - The blue oval could soon belong to Ford again.

Ford Motor Co. mortgaged its logo, along with factories and equipment, in 2006 in exchange for a $23.5 billion restructuring loan. On Tuesday, it got one of the two investment-grade ratings it needs to get those assets out of hock.

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Fitch Ratings raised the automaker’s credit from junk status to “BBB minus,’’ the lowest investment-grade rating. It said Ford repaired its balance sheet and improved its vehicles, putting it “in a solid position’’ to withstand any slowdowns. Now, Ford must wait for one of the other two ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s, to make a move.

The blue oval dates to 1965. Ford says it has not placed a value on the logo. But Interbrand, which tracks brand values, said the Ford brand is worth $7.5 billion; it ranked Ford 50th out of 100 brands.

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