Luxemburg-based investment group Investindustrial has bought a 37.5% stake in UK luxury car maker Aston Martin.
The deal, worth £150m, comes after a steep sales decline at Aston Martin despite increased demand from China, Russia and India boosting the luxury car market, with sales rising at Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Bentley in 2012.
It becomes the second largest shareholder in the company after the issue of new shares. The deal will reduce the decision-making control of majority shareholder The Investment Dar, taking the Kuwati-based group’s ownership of the company below the magic 50% mark, to around 40% of the company.
Investindustrial will pump £500m into Aston Martin over the next five years to develop new cars and update existing models. A spokesperson for the company said this is a 20% rise on investment already planned by the luxury car maker.
Production will remain at the company’s global headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, which employs 1,600 people.
Andrea Bonomi, senior principal at Investindustrial, commented that it hopes “to achieve a similar transformation and rejuvenation that we achieved with Ducati, by expanding the model range and strengthening the dealership network, throughout the world.”
Investindustrial has a history of owning part or all of medium-sized manufacturers, selling Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati to German car firm Audi in 2011.
After purchasing a third of the company in 2006, Ducati’s revenues grew from £245m in 2006 to £387m in 2011.
“I am delighted that Investindustrial has decided to become a major investor in Aston Martin,” said Aston Martin chairman David Richards.
Adnan Al-Musallam, chairman of The Investment Dar, said: “We welcome Investindustrial as new partners in our collaboration with Aston Martin. With our continued commitment and the support of Investindustrial, Aston Martin is in a strong position to pursue its plans for development.”