Aston Martin is pleased to announce the start of a new chapter in its illustrious history following the announcement today that the prestigious sports car manufacturer has been sold to a consortium led by David Richards, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment, ending almost twenty years as part of Ford Motor Company.
The consortium is a group of sophisticated investors who are committed to the brand, its success and existing business plan which envisages growth, profitability and new products, including the much acclaimed four door concept Rapide, shown for the first time at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006.
With the full support of the investors, Dr Ulrich Bez remains committed to the future success of Aston Martin and will lead the management team into a new era as its Chief Executive. Since his appointment in 2000 he has overseen a period of growth and investment, steering Aston Martin to its unparalleled status in the world luxury sports car market. During the past six years the company has seen a tremendous change with new headquarters, exciting new products, a successful motorsport programme and a strong corporate identity throughout the expanding dealership network.
Leading the investors is David Richards, founder and chairman of Prodrive, a world leading motorsport and automotive engineering company. He will be joining the board of Aston Martin as non executive chairman in a personal capacity.
“This is an incredible opportunity – Aston Martin is one of the world’s most iconic brands,” said David Richards. “We are confident we now have all the right ingredients to take Aston Martin to even greater heights.”
John Sinders, a banker in finance and shipping from Houston, Texas and Dubai UAE, is an Aston Martin owner with a great affection for the brand on both road and track.
Investment Dar, a Kuwaiti company, is the largest listed investment company in the Gulf. It owns and manages a group of companies including banking, finance, investment and asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, and logistics. Investment Dar has total assets of US$ 3.66 billion, with net income of US$ 317.3 million in 2006.
Adeem Investment is a Kuwaiti company and owns companies in the banking and finance, real estate and hotels, transport and logistics, food and telecoms industries. It has become the fastest growing investment, corporate finance and asset management company in Kuwait with assets under management in excess of US$ 1.5 billion.
Jefferies & Company acted as financial adviser to the Consortium.
“This new partnership is a tremendously exciting opportunity for Aston Martin,” said Ulrich Bez. “Under the ownership of Ford we have become a successful, profitable company and I will be working with the new owners to build on this great foundation. It is a new beginning which will give the company the opportunity to attain an even higher level of excellence.
“This next stage in the company’s history promises to be the most exciting yet. David Richards and I have a great deal of mutual respect for each other and we are equally passionate about realising the brand’s full potential.”
Aston Martin will remain at its high tech production facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire, a purpose-built facility where a skilled workforce of 1800 employees have helped gather numerous awards from the automotive and design industries in the past five years. Aston Martin has also enjoyed considerable success on the track and the company’s sporting heritage continues to infuse every model.
Aston Martin is one of the world’s leading sports car manufacturers. Founded in 1914 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford the company has been responsible for some of the most evocative automobiles of all time. Aston Martin has evolved into a prestige manufacturer with class-leading products and perhaps the most high profile automotive brand name in the world.
The current model line-up of the award-winning V8 Vantage, DB9, DB9 Volante and Vanquish S and V8 Vantage Roadster will soon be enhanced by the eagerly awaited high performance DBS model. Voted the UK’s coolest brand in 2006, Aston Martin has a fast-expanding dealership network of 126 dealers representing in 27 countries.