Aston Martin sells stake to Investindustrial

Chairman David Richards: "It's about investing for the future"

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Aston Martin is to receive a £150m investment from Italian private equity firm Investindustrial in exchange for a 37.5% stake in the business.

The Warwickshire-based carmaker will put the money towards the more than £500m it plans to spend on new models over the next five years.

Kuwait's Investment Dar retains its major shareholding in the carmaker.

Aston Martin has been looking for fresh investment to allow it to compete with rivals such as Porsche and Ferrari.

"[The partnership] is about investing for the future," David Richards, chairman of the firm, told the BBC.

"There's no getting away from the fact we have to invest a lot of money for new product over the next few years. This investment will allow us to accelerate that programme.

"The one appeal about a financial investor to us is the opportunity to speak with a number of engine and technology suppliers... It gives us far more flexibility than had we tied ourselves to a number of people who approached us about partnering with us."

'Iconic brand'

Investindustrial held a stake in Italian motorbike company Ducati before selling to German carmaker Audi earlier this year.

Senior principal Andrea Bonomi said his firm was "delighted to form part of this iconic, but quintessentially British, brand".

Aston Martin, best known for its association with James Bond, will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

The company was sold in 2007 by Ford for £479m to a consortium led by Investment Dar.

It has since expanded into China, but sales in the UK and North America have been hit by the financial crisis.

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