The UK’s coolest brand is likely to go public within just three to four years if company chairman David Richards has his way. Aston Martin was sold last year in a historic deal that saw ownership transferred to Richards and a consortium of Kuwaiti investors and these investors are now looking to float the company on a stock exchange for a market valuation of up to £500m (approximately US$1b).

A report in the UK’s Daily Mail claims that one reason for the float could be a £40m payment Aston Martin must make to former owner Ford in the next four years. Richards explained to the newspaper that “'it would be for the next level of investment to finance the next models and fund engine development work where clearly there'll be a requirement for further investment.

“It would be a very interesting challenge for me and I can see that as the next step in my horizons. But an appropriate time would be three to five years from now.”

Though he didn’t confirm Aston Martin would conduct its partial initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, he did say that British companies usually floated in the local market.

In the last few months reports have also emerged that Aston Martin will be working with other engine and powertrain suppliers including Mercedes Benz, who Richards confirmed talks were in progress with. Aston Martin currently sources its engines from within Ford’s Cologne production facility and is guaranteed supply until 2012 as part of the sale agreement with its previous owner.

Finally, the company plans to extend the brand beyond the automotive world and produce other Aston Martin branded products, possibly similar to Ferrari and Lamborghini’s marketing when it comes to computer notebooks, clothing, mobile phones, and the like.

Aston Martin has gone from selling less than 1,000 cars per year in the mid-1990’s to over 7000 in 2006. It's expect to sell in excess of 10,000 in 2010.