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Aston Martin finds a buyer

Stephen Beard Mar 7, 2007


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: James Bond’s favorite car company could be under new ownership by the end of the week. Ford is reported to have found a buyer for its luxury Aston Martin division. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford’s European boss would only say that Aston Martin will be sold sometime this year.

But the Reuters news agency reckons the sale is imminent. They report the division could be sold by the end of the week for $860 million.

The purchaser is reported to be Prodrive, motor racing company. This could be quite a challenge for Prodrive which is a relatively small player, says Andrew Wright of the CSM automotive consultancy.

ANDREW WRIGHT: Really I suppose the question is, is Prodrive capable of doing a company that’s, although not high volume but that is a mainstream car manufacturer, justice?

But few analysts questions Ford’s decision to sell Aston. Having lost $12.5 billion on its worldwide operation, Ford could certainly use some extra cash.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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