Kuwaiti investment company, The Investment Dar Company (TID), has acquired a 40 per cent stake in Prodrive, one of the world’s leading motorsport and automotive technology businesses.
Prodrive is based in the UK with operations in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
Prodrive chairman, David Richards, said: “Although we are best known for running motorsport programmes for Subaru and Aston Martin, we also work with vehicle manufacturers to develop new technology for the road.
“This investment follows a year of planning, during which time we have identified a number of opportunities to expand our motorsport and road car activities.”
This investment comes at a time when vehicle manufacturers are facing the immediate challenge of difficult trading conditions and the longer term technological challenge of reducing CO2 emissions.
Richards added: “Our business is ultimately about helping our customers to sell cars, not only their current models, but future products as well.
“I see a great opportunity to expand our current work developing the new generation of environmental technologies such as hybrid cars, hydrogen fuel cells and variable compression ratio engines.
“With our unique motorsport approach, we can rapidly take these technologies from concept to reality.”
In 2007, David Richards (pictured) led a consortium which saw TID acquire Aston Martin from Ford and Richards become chairman of the company. Richards said: “Through Aston Martin, I have worked closely with TID for the last two years.
“As a result TID has also gained a great insight into Prodrive’s expertise and our culture. They very much share our vision for the business and the passion for what we do. With their experience and understanding of the motor industry, they will play a significant role in the long term development of the business.”
David Richards will remain the majority shareholder in Prodrive, and as part of the agreement, Mahmoud Samy from TID will join the board of the company.
Samy said: “We have followed Prodrive’s success through the Subaru and Aston Martin motorsport programmes and seen the commitment and dedication of all the employees in every aspect of the business.
“Prodrive has a great heritage and David has a clear vision for growing the business. We look forward to working closely with David and his management team to realise their goals.”
Richards founded Prodrive in 1984.
In the last 25 years it has won six World Rally Championship titles with Subaru; five British Touring Car titles with BMW, Alfa Romeo and Ford; as well as class wins at Le Mans with Aston Martin.
Today the company employs around 1000 people in the UK, Australia, China and Thailand.
It runs motorsport programmes for the Subaru World Rally Team and Aston Martin Racing from the UK and for the Ford Performance Racing team in Australia.
It also works for the world’s vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers to develop new technologies for applications on the road.