Nabarro, Freshfields in front seat on PE purchase of stake in Aston Martin

Nabarro, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Dickson Minto have taken front seat roles on deal which has seen Italian private equity firm Investindustrial acquire a 37.5% stake in iconic British car manufacturer Aston Martin.

Prestige Motor Holdings, which is backed by funds under advice from Investindustrial, saw off a bid from India’s Mahindra & Mahindra to acquire the stake in the company, famously associated with superspy James Bond.

Nabarro acted for the seller, Kuwait’s Investment Dar, with a team including corporate partner Alasdair Steele, banking partner Habib Ullah – the client relationship partner – and corporate partner Clare Grayston.

Steele said: “It was a complex transaction to work on as the competitive process, with the competing interest of Mahindra & Mahindra, brought things to a head in very short order. But our team worked efficiently to deliver a relatively complicated deal in a short amount of time.”

Meanwhile, Freshfields represented Aston Martin Holdings with a team including corporate partners Chris Bown and Adrian Maguire.

Bown said: “Aston Martin is an interesting company because it is one of the last branded car manufacturers in the UK with that kind of name recognition and brand association.

“It is a unique property, which makes it an interesting asset to invest in. I think we will see more of this activity in the automotive sector because there is only so much debt that’s available. In that sense it is a good old-fashioned development capital deal.”

Prestige instructed Dickson Minto with a team comprising partners Martin McNair and Peter Uri.

Freshfields previously acted for Aston Martin on a £304m high yield bond offering last year, with a team led by Bown advising the car manufacturer on the bond and a new revolving credit facility.