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Islamic finance: Bond’s car is Shariah-compliant

Aston Martin announced the start of a new chapter in its financing history as the sports car manufacturer agreed its leveraged buyout to a consortium of investors led by sports car veteran David Richards.

chairman of Investment Dar, Adnan Al Musallam (l), and the chairman of Ford Europe, Lewis Booth

Signatures and smiles: chairman of Investment Dar, Adnan Al Musallam (l), and the chairman of Ford Europe, Lewis Booth

New investors, which include the Kuwaiti companies Investment Dar and its sister company, Adeem Investment, are demanding fully Shariah-compliant funding for their 78% stake, making this one of the first UK-based assets to be financed in such a way. The sale, which marks the end of a 20-year history under Ford Motor Company, valued Aston Martin at £479 million ($1.2 billion). Jefferies investment bank was the exclusive financial adviser for the acquisition and German bank WestLB was appointed to arrange £225 million of Shariah-compliant syndicated debt. Of this loan, £200 million is a long-term loan for the acquisition, and a further £25 million has been offered as stand-by liquidity. The final £279 million will be paid as equity by the investors, which includes the £40 million stake that Ford retains. The deal aims to close by May 1.

Investment Dar is putting up £139.5 million, that is 50% of the equity, from internal resources.

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