Aston Martin sells off 35 percent

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Aston Martin and Investindustrial have finalized a deal that will see a 35 percent stake in the automaker sold to the European private equity group.

Investindustrial is paying 150 million GBP for the stake and has promised to add further capital increases in the coming years.

As part of the deal, Investindustrial, together with existing Aston Martin shareholder Investment Dar, will inject more than half a billion GBP of much needed funds into Aston Martin’s coffers over the next five years.

The investment is aimed at funding Aston Martin’s growth plans, which is expected to center on expansion into new markets, particularly China, where the automaker is looking to expand beyond sports cars with new models falling under its historic Lagonda brand.

Unlike its rivals, Aston Martin doesn’t have the resources of a rich parent company to fund its operations, which is part of the reason it has failed to match their growth and came close to receiving a credit downgrade watch from investment rating firms.

Aston Martin sold roughly 3,800 cars in 2012, which earned it just over $100 million before interest and tax expenses.  The automaker expects to do much better in 2013 due to this year being the first full year of production for new models such as the Vanquish and Rapide S.

Though it’s yet to be confirmed, CEO Ulrich Bez, who has led Aston Martin since 2000, is reported to be resigning to an ambassadorial role this summer and set to announce a successor soon.  It’s not clear if the news is related to Investindustrial’s buy into the automaker.