Aston Martin confirmed that it was in talks with potential investors late last year, following a story broken by Autocar and RaceFans.net, which first revealed interest in the firm from Stroll. Other potential investors are reported to include rival car makers and firms based in the Middle East, India and China.
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. Aston confirmed it has received 1800 pre-orders for the DBX, but deliveries do not begin until mid-2020.
Both the Racing Point F1 team and Aston Martin currently have bases at Silverstone, although Aston’s headquarters are in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
The majority of Aston’s 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.
Both Geely and Lawrence Stroll have so far declined to comment on any of the reports.
The firm has come under intense scrutiny since floating in 2018, with a valuation of around £4.5bn. Today the share price has fallen by around 80% from that point.
Additional reporting by Dieter Rencken