Just after Ford announced its agreement to sell Aston Martin to a consortium led by Prodrive’s David Richards, Aston Martin itself announced that chief executive of six years’ standing Dr Ulrich Bez will continue to lead the firm’s management team as its Chief Executive. It was also confirmed that Aston Martin will remain at its production facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire, which employs 1,800 staff.
David Richards, founder and chairman of Prodrive, will be joining the board of Aston Martin as non-executive chairman in a personal capacity. Fellow consortium investor John Sinders is a banker in finance and shipping from Houston, Texas and Dubai UAE, and an Aston Martin owner with a great affection for the brand on both road and track.
New Aston investor 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.
The final member of the consortium buying Aston Martin, Adeem Investment, is also 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.
The investment bank Jefferies & Company acted as financial adviser to the consortium.
Aston Martin was founded in 1914 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The current model line-up of the award-winning V8 Vantage, DB9, DB9 Volante and Vanquish S and V8 Vantage Roadster will soon be joined by a high performance DBS model. Voted “the UK’s coolest brand” in 2006, Aston Martin has a network of 126 dealers in 27 countries.
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