Press Report : Kuwaiti wealth fund struggles to refinance Aston Martin debt

Alun Thorne, Birmingham Post, 29th September, 2009

Warwickshire-based luxury car firm Aston Martin is at the centre of new fears as the Kuwaiti wealth fund that owns half of the company admitted it was struggling to refinance its debt.

Reports said Kuwait’s Investment Dar had confirmed it had signed an agreement with creditors and investors to freeze claims and provide more time to agree a deal.

Aston Martin was sold by Ford in the summer of 2007 with a consortium led by racing tycoon David Richards, investment banker John Singers, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment emerging as buyers.

The deal was valued at £480 million and Kuwait Investment Dar’s share was financed by banks which had reportedly agreed a $393 million sharia-compliant loan. At the time the Dar said: “The purchase of Aston Martin is central to our strategy of diversifying our holdings in key markets and international brands.”

The Kuwaiti group has now announced a new bid to shore up support after it defaulted on a $100 million Islamic bond in April. A statement said: “The consenting banks and investors will, for the duration of the standstill agreement, suspend individual claims relating to investment arrangements.” The standstill agreement is expected to run until the 31st December, 2009.

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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