Private equity firm Investindustrial invests £150m in Aston Martin

European private equity firm Investindustrial said on Friday it agreed to buy a 37.5% stake in UK sports and luxury cars maker Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd for GBP150m (USD240.4m/EUR186m) via a capital increase.

The statement came to confirm an earlier report by Reuters that a deal might be announced today.

The private equity investor, controlled by the Italian Bonomi family, managed to oust Indian commercial utility vehicles company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which was the frontrunner in the race for the stake. Under the terms of the transaction, Investindustrial will get proportional voting rights in the target. Kuwaiti Investment Dar Company KSC will retain its major interest in the UK firm.

In a separate announcement, Aston Martin said that the current deal gives it an enterprise value of GBP780m compared to a value of GBP630 before the agreement, and does not include a technical partnership deal with Daimler AG’s (ETR:DAI) Mercedes, contrary to some analysts’ expectations. Aston Martin also unveiled plans to put more than GBP500m into a new product and technology programme over the next five years. It noted that it would keep its production facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

The deal is seen to secure regulatory approval in the first quarter of 2013.

Sponsor Apollo acquires UK jewellery chain operator Aurum

US private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) said it had struck a definitive deal to buy UK luxury jewellery retailer Aurum Holdings Limited.

The investor did no say how much it would pay for the business.

Aurum, which was founded in 2004 and based in based in Leicester, UK, owns and operates a chain of jewellery and watches stores in the country. Its portfolio includes the Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths brands.

The company was initially created by bankrupt Icelandic investor Baugur Group, which acquired and merged the UK high street jewellery stores under the Aurum name.

As part of Apollo, Aurum will be in a position to benefit from its retail industry expertise, resources and capabilities across the leisure and commodities sectors, the target’s CEO Justin Stead said.

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. Apollo took counsel from DC Advisory in connection with the transaction.

Sprint adds Geotab fleet managment solutions to transportation portfolio

Sprint (NYSE: S) and Geotab Inc. said that Geotab plug-and-play fleet management solutions are now part of Sprint’s connected transportation portfolio. Geotab is a provider of technology and software designed to increase fleet productivity, cost effectiveness and safety.

Sprint (NYSE: S) and Geotab Inc. said that Geotab plug-and-play fleet management solutions are now part of Sprint’s connected transportation portfolio. Geotab is a provider of technology and software designed to increase fleet productivity, cost effectiveness and safety.

Now tested for compatibility on the Sprint network, the Geotab GO6 device is an easy-to-install, transportable device for cars and light to medium-duty trucks and vans. Geotab GO6 plugs into the vehicle’s OBDII (On-Board Diagnostic) port and relays information back to a web-based interface for fleet managers. As a result, managers can track and monitor vehicle locations, identify driving behaviors, optimize driver dispatch and routing, and improve the overall health of their fleets with maintenance reminders and alerts.

The Geotab device can help reduce costs and keep drivers safe and secure while increasing efficiencies and productivity.

Fleet operators can use the Geotab web-based software, MyGeotab, to generate reports that help coach better driving habits. They can also observe driving activity in real time and send audio alerts to change inefficient driving style immediately. Additionally, Geotab GO6 enables continuous monitoring of engine performance and better coordination of fleet maintenance, helping to keep more vehicles in service at any given time.

Geotab is a member of Sprint’s extensive machine-to-machine partner ecosystem, which enables a wide range of connected transportation solutions. Plug-and-play devices can be installed in seconds, with no installation cost to the customer, and support a wide range of productivity-enhancing tracking, monitoring, navigation and safety features, such as those provided by Geotab.

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. The company’s website is at www.sprint.com.

Geotab provides GPS fleet management systems. For more information, visit www.geotab.com.