14 March 2007

Aston back in British hands

Prodrive boss David Richards announced as new Aston owner

Aston Martin

It's official: Aston Martin is back in British hands.

The new owner of the luxury marque was today announced as a UK-led consortium headed by Prodrive boss David Richards. In the consortium along with Richards are US banker John Sinders and two Kuwait-based investment companies.

The hugely profitable sports car firm has been sold off by Ford to raise some extra money for the beleaguered automotive leviathan on the back of $12.7 billion loss last year.

Ford has owned the Aston Martin brand for nearly 20 years, taking a 75 per cent stake in the company in 1987 and assuming full ownership in 1994. The sale is believed to have boosted its coffers by £479m.

Richards has been involved with Aston before, helping to develop rally and road versions of the V8 Vantage. His Prodrive setup also runs the Aston Martin race team.

It is expected that current Aston boss Dr Ulrich Bez will be asked to stay on at the helm despite the change in ownership.


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