Aston Martin in trouble as Kuwaiti owners in debt
The snooty Aston Martin sport-luxury carmaker, once quintessentially British but then pimped out to foreign owners, is in trouble after the Kuwaiti “sovereign wealth fund” that owns 51% of the luxury carmaker admitted it was struggling to refinance its debt.
According to the British Guardian newspaper, Kuwaiti owners Investment Dar is one of many free-spending banks and investment houses in that country to run into financial trouble during the recession. The losses in overseas investments incurred are too high to even be covered by rising oil prices.
The flailing Aston Martin outfit was sold by U.S. owners Ford in March 2007 just before the recession hit, to a consortium led by former racing driver Dave Richards, investment banker John Singers, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment for US$ 925 million. The deal was partly financed by several international banks which had agreed to a US$ 393 million “sharia-compliant” loan.
The carmaker has cut 600 jobs since then, culling one-third of its UK workforce, and not even several appearances in James Bond movies and the promise of a sedan model is enough to revive the overpriced brand.
Investment Dar has now reached a “standstill” agreement with creditors, after it famously defaulted on a US$ 100 million Islamic bond payout in April 2009.
While we’ve never been considered worthy enough to get seat-time in one, if all this has intrigued you enough to consider purchasing an expensive British sports car, visit the Aston Martin buyer guide.