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Ford sells Aston Martin, gets $848 million

From Automotive News| March 13,2007

Ford Motor Co. today sold the Aston Martin luxury sports car brand to a consortium of investors in a deal valued at $925 million (479 million pounds).

But Ford is keeping a share of Aston Martin valued at $77 million (40 million pounds) and will hold a separate class of stock in the independent company. Ford will get $848 million from the sale.

The investors are led by David Richards, chairman of Prodrive, a U.K. auto engineering and motor sports company. The investor group also includes Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co, both of Kuwait.

Ford has owned Aston Martin for 20 years.

Ford Motor Co. Executive Vice President Lewis Booth announced the sale at Aston Martin's factory in Gaydon, central England.

Booth said the price was a fair one for all the parties, but described the sale as a "bittersweet moment" for Ford.

Booth is head of Ford of Europe and head of the Premier Automotive Group, which includes Aston Martin.

Booth declined to give a percentage figure for Ford's stake. He also refused to say how much Ford had invested in Aston Martin since 1987.

Richards said he would be actively involved in the running of Aston Martin, which will not be connected with Prodrive.

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