LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Italian private equity fund
Investindustrial has signed a deal to buy 37.5 percent of Aston
Martin Lagonda Ltd from its Kuwaiti owner Investment
Investindustrial is investing 150 million pounds ($241
million) in Aston Martin in the form of a capital increase, said
the British car-maker on Friday.
Aston Martin, whose cars became famed for their starring
role in James Bond films, said the deal would enable it to
"invest more than half a billion pounds in new products and a
technology programme over the next five years".
The British company said the deal gave the group an
enterprise value of 780 million pounds, compared to a value of
630 million pounds prior to the agreement.
It added that no agreement had been made on a technical
partnership for Aston Martin with Daimler AG's Mercedes
, as some analysts had expected.
Investindustrial said in a statement its stake would come
with proportional voting rights and that it expected to receive
clearance from competition bodies in the first quarter of 2013.
The Italian group beat Indian tractor maker Mahindra and
Mahindra in a two-way battle to invest in the British
Mahindra and Mahindra had been touted as the frontrunner to
buy the stake but Investindustrial emerged as the favourite to
seal the deal in recent days. Sources told Reuters on Thursday
night that Investindustrial was close to sealing a deal.
Aston Martin, perhaps best known for its classic DB5
sportscar, which upstaged Sean Connery in early Bond movies,
makes its cars in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the heartland of
England's early 20th century motor manufacturing heyday.
But the 99-year-old maker of the DB9 and Vanquish sportscars
has struggled in recent years. Last week Aston said it sold
2,340 cars in the year to Sept. 30, 19 percent fewer than last
The company has cut costs but needs funds for research and
development and to create new vehicles.
Investindustrial, owned by Italy's Bonomi family, is not new
to luxury motor brands. In 2006, it bought Italian motorcycle
maker Ducati and sold it for about 860 million euros last April
to Volkswagen's Audi division.
Aston Martin was sold in 2007 by U.S.-based Ford Motor Co
for 479 million pounds, to Kuwait's Investment Dar and
another Kuwait fund, Adeem Investment Co.