By Andy Sambidge
Italian fund Investindustrial signs deal for 37.5% stake in Kuwait-owned luxury car maker
Kuwait-owned Aston Martin on Friday confirmed that Italian private equity firm Investindustrial had bought a 37.5 percent stake in a deal worth £150m ($241m).
The British sports car manufacturer said it welcomed Investindustrial as a major shareholder after the agreement with owner Investment Dar.
The luxury auto company also confirmed that it will now proceed with its "extensive and exciting plans for sustainable long-term growth".
Aston Martin chairman David Richards said: “I am delighted that Investindustrial has decided to become a major investor in Aston Martin.
"With the support of The Investment Dar, we have made substantial progress over the past five years in laying the foundations for success as one of the world’s leading luxury sports car manufacturers.
"Investindustrial’s new investment reflects and sustains the unique position of Aston Martin within the industry. With this partnership and the continued commitment of The Investment Dar, we look forward to working with our shareholders as we realise our vision and exciting future plans.”
Andrea C Bonomi, senior principal at Investindustrial, said: “We are looking forward to working with the management and Investment Dar to achieve a similar transformation and rejuvenation that we achieved with Ducati, by expanding the model range and strengthening the dealership network, throughout the world.”
Adnan Al-Musallam, chairman and managing director of The Investment Dar added: “We welcome Investindustrial as new partners in our collaboration with Aston Martin. With our continued commitment and the support of Investindustrial, Aston Martin is in a strong position to pursue its plans for development.”
Aston Martin said it intends to invest more than half a billion pounds in its new product and technology programme over the next five years.
Aston Martin production will remain at the luxury British marque’s global headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, a purpose-built facility where a skilled workforce of 1,600 employees assemble the current range of sports cars.
The Italian group beat Mahindra and Mahindra in a two-way battle to invest in the British sportscar maker.
Mahindra and Mahindra had been touted as the frontrunner to buy the stake but Investindustrial emerged as the favourite to seal the deal in recent days. Sources told Reuters on Thursday night that Investindustrial was close to sealing a deal.
Aston Martin, perhaps best known for its classic DB5 sportscar, which upstaged Sean Connery in early Bond movies, makes its cars in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the heartland of England's early 20th century motor manufacturing heyday.
Aston Martin was sold in 2007 by US-based Ford Motor Co for £479m, to Kuwait's Investment Dar and another Kuwait fund, Adeem Investment Co.