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March 15, 2010

KUWAIT: Aston Martin investor secures court protection approval

Aston Martin insists its Kuwaiti investor's application for legal protection from creditors will not affect its importance as a major shareholder.

Aston Martin insists its Kuwaiti investor’s application for legal protection from creditors will not affect its importance as a major shareholder.

Investment Dar, which owns 50% of Aston Martin, has had its request under Kuwait’s financial stability law accepted, giving the company protection from financial organisations until a restructuring plan is approved.

More than 80% of Investment Dar’s banks and backers have approved the restructuring plan, which should see the company repay its obligations in full, supervised by the Central Bank of Kuwait.

Last year, financial problems at Kuwaiti investment companies saw the government approve a rescue package worth US$5.2bn. The deal guarantees 50% of the loans banks provide to local firms as part of plans to ease the global economic crisis.

Dar defaulted on a US$100m Islamic debt issue last year and has said it may have to sell some assets to meet its obligations.

“We are in as much contact [with Dar] as we always have,” an Aston Martin spokesman told just-auto. “They continue to be the influential shareholder they always have been.”

Kuwait’s financial stability law was introduced in 2009 on the advice of the country’s financial crisis team, headed by the governor of the central bank, Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al Sabah.

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