Aston Martin Sells Large Share of Company to Investindustrial Holding

By Jacob Brown | December 07, 2012
Aston Martin, the luxury sports car maker that has captivated fans all over the world, has once again traded hands. At least in part. The Investment Dar, the Saudi company that purchased Aston Martin from Ford in 2007, has sold 37.5 percent of its shares to Investindustrial, an Italian holding company, for the equivalent of $241 million. Recently, Aston Martin has been telling media outlets that it wasn't for sale. At the same time, it was courting offers from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian auto and industrial machines maker. It was thought that Mahindra would be the leading candidate to take ownership of Aston, as it already sells vehicles and understands the world market. Similarly when Ford pared Jaguar and Land Rover around the same time, India's Tata bought the two. Since then, it has managed to turn them around, launch all-new products in the 2014 Jaguar F-Type and Range Rover, and become profitable.
Investindustrial has its own history with vehicles, most recently with Ducati motorcycles, the high-end superbike maker. Purchasing Ducati in 2006, Investindustrial only recently turned the firm around and sold it to Volkswagen's Audi division. The thought around the move was that Ducati has experience in making lightweight materials needed for cars. There's also a school of thought that puppet string-puller Ferdinand Piech just really wanted to own a motorcycle company. That said, Investindustrial does not have the scalable operations of Mahindra, but it does have a successful track record of turning around companies. And working with the chosen brand of Mr. Bond himself doesn't hurt, either. Aston Martin chairman David Richards said in a statement that, "With this partnership and the continued commitment of The Investment Dar, we look forward to working with our shareholders as we realize our vision and exciting future plans." Aston Martins are made in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. While sales have been down recently, Aston has seen resoundingly positive feedback for its new Vanquish sports car that will be launched early next year at a sum nearing $300,000. Insomuch, Aston is looking to expand operations further in the future with a rumored joint venture with Mercedes-Benz, although that has not yet been confirmed by either party. We'll surely see in due time. Sources: Aston Martin, Investindustrial