Billionaire Lawrence Stroll is preparing a bid to buy a major stake in Aston Martin, Autocar can reveal following a joint investigation with RaceFans.net.
Stroll, father of Formula 1 driver Lance and owner of the Racing Point F1 team, is estimated to be worth in excess of £2 billion, having made his money investing and building up brands including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Asprey and Garrard.
He is also famed for his car collection, which is most notable for including what many regard as the most valuable collection of classic Ferraris in the world.
Both his business interests and car collection are reported to have given him the contacts to head a consortium looking to take control of Aston Martin, in the belief they can take advantage of its current low stock value and lower than expected sales prior to building the brand’s equity up again in future years, most notably by taking advantage of anticipated sales for the recently launched Aston Martin DBX SUV.
Both the Racing Point F1 team and Aston Martin currently have bases at Silverstone, although Aston’s headquarters are in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Lawrence Stroll declined to comment on the report when contacted by RaceFans.net.
Contacted by Autocar, Aston Martin also made no comment. As a listed company it is bound by strict regulations when it comes to official announcements regarding the stock market, and would be forced to confirm if a formal takeover bid had been launched. However, its stock price did rise by almost 20% in a day off the back of Autocar and RaceFans.net’s story.
Aston’s share price is currently hovering at around £5, up from a low of just above £4 but well down on its high of around £17. The majority of shares are currently held by the Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon group, while the Strategic European Investment Group, part of the Italian private equity group Investindustrial, currently holds around a one-third holding in the company. Mercedes parent Daimler also owns 4% of the firm – as well as supplying engines to the Racing Point F1 team owned by Stroll.