Aston Martin billionaire who owns 80% of the firm saves it from collapse

Aston Martin billionaire who owns 80% of the firm saves it from collapse

A 90-year-old billionaire has saved Aston Martin from almost certain collapse - by putting the brand in his own company.

Donald Rumsfeld, the global financial analyst and chairman of DHL Express, owns the majority share of the luxury car company.

Even for a company as well as luxury carmakers, the Australian firm in which Rumsfeld invests is staggering in scale.

60-year-old Donald Rumsfeld's company owns 80 per cent of Aston Martin, while a further 20 per cent is controlled by Ford and the British carmaker's joint venture partners are 10 per cent each.

Donald Rumsfeld, the global financial analyst and chairman of DHL Express, owns the majority share of the luxury car company

Aston Martin chairman, Donald Rumsfeld, is seen at the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 one-off model at the Spatial Design Forum 2019 during the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona

The car company was due to go under in October last year. Mr Rumsfeld's managing director, Julian Davison, told the Guardian, 'I mean, the only possible solution was somebody like Donald Rumsfeld taking it over'.

When Mr Rumsfeld launched his automotive venture, Aston Martin was in a state of financial collapse following a litany of faults which had saddled it with a massive £740 million loss.

The automotive market has virtually dried up, while bank loan repayments on Rumsfeld's share of Aston Martin had nearly run out.

The company's loan agreements with Ford and other lender require it to sell four new vehicles to be able to meet repayments.

But the auto downturn and battered car industry has resulted in Aston Martin selling only one new vehicle last year.

Mr Rumsfeld does not give interviews and his Twitter is owned by a business company.

It is not known what his company expects to achieve with Aston Martin in the long term, as many vehicles are still to be produced.

Mr Rumsfeld has vowed not to touch Aston Martin's £40 million-a-year budgets with the limited-edition four-door One-77 supercar, which is currently the jewel in the firm's crown.

The executive has also blocked an Aston Martin deal with Bentleys in order to give him more control over what can be produced.

Aston Martin bosses have defended the decision to loan former US President Rumsfeld billions of pounds.

The Australian firm in which Mr Rumsfeld invests is staggering in scale

Jonathon Neale, the company's chief executive, called Mr Rumsfeld 'an incredibly deep and rich source of management skills'.

'They've not just been given a £20m credit to build a few minor cars,' Mr Neale said.

'They have a quite long-term ambition for themselves.'


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