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Thread: Ford ready to sell Aston Martin

  1. #1
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    Ford ready to sell Aston Martin

    FORD ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO SELL ASTON MARTIN


    DEARBORN, Mich., March, 12, 2007 – Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Aston Martin, its prestigious sports car business, to a consortium comprised of David Richards, John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. This transaction is the result of Ford's decision, as announced in August 2006, to explore strategic options for the Aston Martin business as the company restructures its core automotive operations and builds liquidity.

    The sale is expected to close during the second quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction values Aston Martin at £479 million ($925 million). As part of the transaction, Ford will retain a £40 million ($77 million) investment in Aston Martin. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time.

    "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. Today's announcement is good for Ford Motor Company, good for Aston Martin and good for the UK. We wish Aston Martin every possible success for the future."

    The new owner of Aston Martin is a consortium comprised of: David Richards, founder and chairman of Prodrive, a world-leading motorsport and automotive technology company; John Sinders, an avid Aston Martin collector and a backer of Aston Martin Racing; and Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co, international investment companies headquartered in Kuwait.

    Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.
    Source: Ford Media Services
    Well, they finally made up their minds. At least it ain't that purse guy...
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    and with Prodrive aspiring F1 for next season, we could well see Aston Martin back there too, although their F1 history is short and unhappy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by henk4 View Post
    and with Prodrive aspiring F1 for next season, we could well see Aston Martin back there too, although their F1 history is short and unhappy.
    I hope they do better than the last british manufacturer in F1...

    About the sale itself I think it's positive that Prodrive has been in the end the winner, they know how to do cars...
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    David Richards on the prospect of Aston Martin in Formula 1...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Richards
    People have put two and two together and got six. This is something personal to me and has nothing to do with Prodrive. Our plan was always to go into Formula 1 in partnership with an existing team, and the plan is still to do that.
    Looks like we won't be seeing Aston Martin F1 anytime soon. Personally I think that's a good thing for the brand. If they were to enter the sport and get slaughtered like Jaguar did then it would be potentially very damaging for the company. Best just to stick to what Aston have been doing so well under Ford recently: making desirable and exclusive luxury sportscars.
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    So aston is british again? sounds good to me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotterik View Post
    So aston is british again? sounds good to me!
    Well, half British half Kuwaiti actually. But close enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    I hope they do better than the last british manufacturer in F1...
    McLaren? Williams?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    About the sale itself I think it's positive that Prodrive has been in the end the winner, they know how to do cars...
    David Richards owns Prodrive.

    A consortium, of which David Richards is leader, now owns Aston Martin.

    If David Richards buys a washing machine for his family, it doesn't mean that Prodrive has bought a washing machine.

    Aston Martin is still the same company it was a week ago, with the same personnel, the same factories, the same engineers and designers, the same suppliers - it just happens to be owned by someone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coventrysucks View Post
    McLaren? Williams?
    Alright the last british road car manufacturer which doesn't make supercars and is actually owned by an american company and is loosing a lot of money because their cars look dated. Is now clearer...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Coventrysucks View Post
    David Richards owns Prodrive.

    A consortium, of which David Richards is leader, now owns Aston Martin.

    If David Richards buys a washing machine for his family, it doesn't mean that Prodrive has bought a washing machine.

    Aston Martin is still the same company it was a week ago, with the same personnel, the same factories, the same engineers and designers, the same suppliers - it just happens to be owned by someone else.
    Yes, but Prodrive have developped the DBR9 and DBRS9 and performance package for the V8 Vanatage. I guess that now Pordrive and Aston Martin could be able to work more closely, and if it happens that's a good thing in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coventrysucks View Post
    If David Richards buys a washing machine for his family, it doesn't mean that Prodrive has bought a washing machine.

    Aston Martin is still the same company it was a week ago, with the same personnel, the same factories, the same engineers and designers, the same suppliers - it just happens to be owned by someone else.
    But, the ownership yields considerable power over the direction that the company takes. IE, the ownership decides exactly what happens, as they own the company - the owners can also decide how much they want to get involved - my bet is the Kuwaitis will leave it up to Richards to run the show, and Richards will probably realize that things are going well at AM and leave them largely alone, if not enhance them.

    If some idiot owner buys AM and tells them to do some bad idea (like make an SUV) the company has to do it - it's the owner's company. I think Ferrer is just trying to say that it is good that a car enthusiast company has bought AM ensuring that their rich tradition of producing fine autos continues.

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    Ford could really use the money. I hope for them that they made a nice profit on it.

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    I cant see F1 involvement helping the Aston Martin brand - look what that did for Jaguar

    Same brand as it was yesterday - except for reaping the full backing and massive resources of the still huge Ford Motor Company, to keep productionising and professionalising the next-gens of Aston Martins

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    I think it was a good turnout, even if the price was a bit higher than expected.
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    I can understand why they are doing this. Ford is in the red, so Alan Mulally decieded to cut away all the fat to get to the beef, per-say. Since exotic car makers like Aston are almost never profitible, it will have to go. I heard that some middle eastern company is looking into buying them. I heard that Mercury may also be next in the cutting line. I won't be suprised if Land Rover and Jaguar could be going too. They too are not very or barely profitible, at least in the states, and in Ford's current situation, if it is losing money, it will have to go. That is now Carlos Ghosn turned around Nissan, and it seems that Alan Mullaly is taking a similar approach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prius View Post
    exotic car makers like Aston are almost never profitible,
    aston martin is in good shape hence sellable by ford, jag and LR are not in excellent shape hence not as easy to sell..or so i read
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prius View Post
    I can understand why they are doing this. Ford is in the red, so Alan Mulally decieded to cut away all the fat to get to the beef, per-say. Since exotic car makers like Aston are almost never profitible, it will have to go. I heard that some middle eastern company is looking into buying them. I heard that Mercury may also be next in the cutting line. I won't be suprised if Land Rover and Jaguar could be going too. They too are not very or barely profitible, at least in the states, and in Ford's current situation, if it is losing money, it will have to go. That is now Carlos Ghosn turned around Nissan, and it seems that Alan Mullaly is taking a similar approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by jediali View Post
    aston martin is in good shape hence sellable by ford, jag and LR are not in excellent shape hence not as easy to sell..or so i read
    Yes Jediali is right. Aston Martin was the only profitable branch of Ford when the whole company ended up 12 billion(IIRC) in the red last year. Ford has to do something to survive and as Aston Martin is doing good (the new Bond movie probably didn't hurt either) they could get a high price for them right now. I don't know what they will do with Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo but I guess job cuts will happen - which is a sign that they are trying to make the branch more attractive as a sale. It will be interesting to see what Ford's future will look like.
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