Chequered flag for Aston Martin

Ford Motor Company has agreed to sell its Aston Martin business to a consortium comprising David Richards, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co.

The deal values Aston Martin at £479m (€686m); Ford will retain a £40m (€58.3m) investment in the company.

David Richards is the founding chairman of Prodrive, which runs the Aston Martin racing team and is establishing a Formula One team. John Sinders is an Aston Martin collector and a backer of Aston Martin Racing. Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co is headquartered in Kuwait.

Aston Martin has been on the block since August 2006, the result of a restructuring at Ford designed to build liquidity.

“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.”

Ford acquired a controlling stake in Aston Martin in 1987 before taking full ownership in 1994. The Warwickshire-based vehicle manufacturer whose cars were made famous in a number of James Bond films became profitable in 2005.

Last year, US reports suggested that Ford was itself considering going private in order to restructure itself out of the glare of the public markets.