LONDON — Canadian billionaire and Formula One team owner Lawrence Stroll has formed a consortium to take control of U.K. sports-car maker Aston Martin, a British magazine reported.
Stroll has used connections he has made as owner of the Racing Point F1 team and through his son, F1 driver Lance Stroll, to form the group to take a major stake in Aston Martin, Autocar magazine reported.
Aston Martin has a goal to double its vehicles sales to 14,000 by 2023 but the company has struggled financially despite renewing its sports car range.The automaker posted a 13.5 million-pound ($17.4 million) loss before tax in the three months to the end of September.
Stroll’s consortium would take advantage of Aston Martin’s low stock price, Autocar said. He is betting that Aston Martin will deliver consistent profits after the company starts selling its first SUV, the DBX, next year, the magazine said. The DBX has received praise for its looks since it was revealed last month.
The Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon shareholding group owns a 36 percent stake in Aston Martin, while Italy-based InvestIndustrial has 31 percent. Daimler also has a 4 percent shareholding. The rest is publicly held. Autocar’s report did not say whose stake Stroll would buy.
Stroll is worth in excess of 2 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) after investing in brands including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, according to Autocar, which said it had investigated his plans for Aston Martin with RaceFans.net.
Stroll has an extensive collection of Ferraris. He became involved in F1 after helping to secure his son a seat at the Williams F1 team in 2017. Stroll then bought the struggling Force India F1 team in 2018, renaming it Racing Point.
Aston Martin is also involved in F1 via its sponsorship of the Red Bull racing team. Red Bull and Racing Point are both based in Buckinghamshire, central England, not far from Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon.
Autocar’s report prompted rumors that Stroll will rename the Red Bull team Aston Martin.
Aston Martin floated on the U.K. stock market October 2018. Its share price tumbled from a debut price of 19 pounds ($24.50) to a low of 3.71 pounds. News of the possible investment pushed the shares to 5.92 pounds at midday U.K. time on Thursday.
Aston Martin declined to comment when approached by Automotive News Europe.
Analysts have said the company may need to sell new stock to shore up its balance sheet, a path obstructed by a shareholder resolution in June that restricted management’s power to issue stock without approval.
In a separate hurdle, a further $100 million of financing depends on the company securing 1,400 orders for the DBX by June.
Bloomberg contributed to this report