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Ford sells Aston Martin

2007-03-12 16:06
The Ford Motor Company has agreed to sell its iconic Aston Martin brand for just over £470m to a British-led consortium, the US firm said Monday.

The luxury carmaker, famous for its long-running association with the James Bond blockbuster films, is to be sold to a group of investors led by British motor sport chief Dave Richards, a Ford official announced.

Ford, which is selling the sports car brand to free resources to invest more in its core brands, will retain a 15% stake in the company it bought in 1986, press reports have said.

"This is an incredible opportunity - Aston Martin is one of the world's most iconic brands," said Richards, who will be the non-executive chairman, while current Aston Martin boss Ulrich Bez will be the chief executive.

"We are confident we now have all the right ingredients to take Aston Martin to even greater heights."

Bez, who has overseen strong growth in recent years, said the deal was "a tremendously exciting opportunity for Aston Martin..."

"Under the ownership of Ford we have become a successful, profitable company and I will be working with the new owners to build on this great foundation.

"It is a new beginning which will give the company the opportunity to attain an even higher level of excellence," he added.

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