Steane Klose | Nov 19, 2008

The Investment Dar Company (TID), based in Kuwait, has recently purchased a forty percent stake in automotive technology and motorsport outfit, Prodrive.

Based in Banbury UK, Prodrive is best known for performance engineering and for its involvement with the Subaru World Rally Team (and, in Australia, for its former involvement with Ford's performance division and the Mazda MX-5 turbo).

TID's involvement with Prodrive has evolved since 2007 when Prodrive chairman David Richards headed a consortium of investors, TID included, which resulted in the purchase of Aston Martin from Ford.

The investment follows a year of planning, during which time Prodrive has identified a number of oppurtunities to expand its motorsport and road car activities.

Richards, who retains a majority shareholding, outlined that it will be business as usual at Prodrive:

"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," David Richards said.

Mahmoud Samy from TID, who, as part of the deal, will join the board at Prodrive, was keen to point out the reasons behind TID's decision:

"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," he said.

With economies everywhere in an awful mess, it's refreshing to hear that there is still some cash being splashed around the automotive industry. Prodrive's enviable position and reputation should have TID celebrating this deal all the way to the bank. But it might take a year or two.

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