Aston Martin has known more than a few owners over the years including the Ford Motor Company, who sold out to current owners Investment Dar and other investors in 2007 for $733 million.
Now you can add private-equity firm Investindustrial to the list of Aston owners. The London-based investment company have agreed to buy a 37.5 per cent stake in Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.
Investindustrial will pay $229 million for its stake, after it beat off Indian automotive carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra for a minority slice of the British sports car company.
Investindustrial gained prominence in April, after it sold Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding SpA to Volkswagen owned Audi.
The cash will enable Aston Martin to fund desperately needed next-generation cars and engines in order to remain competitive in a capital-intensive business where scale is crucial to profitability.
The industry is full of luxury car brands that have been absorbed by bigger players. Volkswagen AG now owns Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti, while India’s Tata Motors Ltd owns the Jaguar Land Rover Group.
Aston Martin Chairman Dave Richards said: “I am delighted that Investindustrial has decided to become a major investor in Aston Martin. With the support of The Investment Dar, we have made substantial progress over the past five years in laying the foundations for success as one of the world’s leading luxury sports car manufacturers. Investindustrial’s new investment reflects and sustains the unique position of Aston Martin within the industry. With this partnership and the continued investment of The Investment Dar, we look forward to working with our shareholders as we realise our vision and exciting future plans.”
Andrea Bonomi, founder and chairman of Investindustrial, is looking to improve Aston Martin’s position in the marketplace with new models and a stronger dealer network.
“We are delighted to form part of this iconic global, but quintessentially British brand. We are looking forward to working with the management and Investment Dar to achieve a similar transformation and rejuvenation that we achieved with Ducati, by expanding the model range and strengthening the dealership network, throughout the world”, said Bonomi.
“Aston Martin is one of the few remaining independent niche players in the luxury auto market, which can bring the kind of customer experience that is often missing in a brand owned by a big conglomerate. We are in it for the long haul”, he added.
Aston Martin will be looking to exploit further sales in China where it derived only five per cent of around 4000 unit sales in 2012.
The company recently launched the all-new Aston Martin Vanquish; with customer deliveries for European customers commencing this month while others will have to wait until Q1/2 2013 for their cars.