Ford Deals Aston Martin to Buying Consortium

Brand Made Famous by Bond Fetches $925 Million

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DETROIT ( -- Ford Motor Co. made good on the plan it announced last fall to sell its Aston Martin niche luxury car arm, announcing today it will sell the brand to a buying consortium for $925 million.
Ford acquired full ownership of Aston Martin in 1994.
Ford acquired full ownership of Aston Martin in 1994.

Part of revitalization plan
The automaker, which wanted to shed the storied British unit as part of its latest "Way Forward" revitalization plan, said the consortium is made up of David Richards, founder and chairman of Prodrive, a motor-sports and auto technology outfit; John Sinders, an Aston Martin racing backer; plus Dar and Adeem Investment Co., international investment firms based in Kuwait. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Ford, however, will retain a $77 million investment in Aston Martin, adding that it would not discuss terms further at this time.

Ford acquired full ownership of Aston Martin, which has been a favorite in James Bond films (Daniel Craig drives one in the most recent Bond flick, "Casino Royale"), in 1994.

"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," Ford President–CEO Alan Mulally said in a prepared statement. "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."
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