Aston Martin has been sold to a consortium led by the founder of Prodrive, David Richards, ending almost twenty years of ownership by Ford and months of speculation and rumors regarding the new buyer. Other key investors in the group include investment banker John Sinders and Kuwaiti equity groups Adeem Investment and Investment Dar. The final offer is estimated to be approximately £479 million, which was enough to top bids led by Doughty Hanson & Co., Syrian-born property magnate Simon Halabi and the luxury goods conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton and Fendi.

David Richards is the founder and chairman of Prodrive, the company responsible for Aston Martin’s racing program as well as developing performance packages for its cars. Prodrive is also rumoured to be in the process of starting its own Formula One team, and this latest announcement is a major step towards seeing Aston Martin competing with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren in the pinnacle of motorsport.

With the backing of Richards and the new investment group and with Dr Ulrich Bez remaining as the CEO, Aston Martin is now under the guidance of two leaders that are equally passionate about realising the brand’s full potential. As part of the deal, Ford will retain a £40 million stake in the company.