Vanmiddag zal er in Londen een officiële persbijeenkomst worden gehouden waarin meer wordt verteld over de verkoop van Aston Martin. Het is inmiddels duidelijk dat het gaat om Koeweitse investeringsmaatschappijen, Dar en Adeem Investment Co, plus de Prodrive-oprichter Dave Richards.
Reuters schrijft dat Investment Dar bestaat uit een groep van andere bedrijven die gezamenlijk 15-20 procent van Aston Martin zullen kopen. De overige aandelen gaan naar Adeem Investment en Dave Richards (Prodrive) en er blijft ongeveer 15% in handen van Ford. Volgens Bloomberg zou het in totaal gaan om een opbrengst van 850 miljoen dollar (650 miljoen euro).
De deal zou ook afspraken bevatten over Design DNA wat men kan delen tussen Aston Martin en Jaguar sportwagens, evenals motoren van de Ford fabriek in Duitsland.
Update 1: Het is officieel, dit is het persbericht van Prodrive:
Prodrive chairman and chief executive, David Richards, is heading a consortium which was today, Monday 12 March, announced as the new owners of Aston Martin.
Richards is involved in the consortium on purely a personal basis. Prodrive has no financial involvement in the deal.
David Richards, 54, founded Prodrive in 1984, and has turned the British business into one of the world’s leading motorsport and automotive technology groups.
Update 2: Het persbericht van Ford:
DEARBORN, Mich., March, 12, 2007 – Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Aston Martin, its prestigious sports car business, to a consortium comprised of David Richards, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. This transaction is the result of Ford’s decision, as announced in August 2006, to explore strategic options for the Aston Martin business as the company restructures its core automotive operations and builds liquidity.
The sale is expected to close during the second quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction values Aston Martin at £479 million ($925 million). As part of the transaction, Ford will retain a £40 million ($77 million) investment in Aston Martin. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time.
“The sale of Aston Martin supports the key objectives of the company, to restructure to operate profitably at lower volumes and changed model mix and to speed the development of new products,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s President and chief executive officer. “From Aston Martin’s point of view, the sale will provide access to additional capital, which will allow Aston Martin to continue the growth it has experienced under Ford’s stewardship. Today’s announcement is good for Ford Motor Company, good for Aston Martin and good for the UK. We wish Aston Martin every possible success for the future.”
The new owner of Aston Martin is a consortium comprised of: David Richards, founder and chairman of Prodrive, a world-leading motorsport and automotive technology company; John Sinders, an avid Aston Martin collector and a backer of Aston Martin Racing; and Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co, international investment companies headquartered in Kuwait.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.
Update 3: Het persbericht van Aston Martin:
Gaydon March 12, 2007: 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.