Aston Martin Lagonda has secured a £500 million investment that will enable it to continue trading and complete its Second Century Plan.
Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll is investing £182m for a stake in the business and will become the company’s new chairman. An additional share issue, sourced from Aston Martin’s major stakeholders, is expected to raise another £318m. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer will stay in his position.
• Andy Palmer outlines new plans for Aston Martin
Aston Martin’s financial troubles have been well documented of late – the company made a loss in 2018 and issued profits warnings to its shareholders last year. Aston Martin’s share price has also dropped to less than three quarters of its launch value, at the company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) of October 2018.
Stroll, who made his fortune through his investment in upmarket fashion brands, is reported by Forbes magazine to have a net worth of $2.6billion. He replaces Penny Hughes, who joined Aston Martin Lagonda shortly before its IPO, as chairman.
As part of the announcement, Aston Martin issued details on its future product strategy. The new DBX SUV, which is due to go on sale in Summer this year, will be crucial to the brand’s success – along with the launch of the new Vantage Roadster this spring, which is expected to comprise up to 40 per cent of all Vantage sales.
The launch of Aston Martin’s all-electric luxury brand, Lagonda has been pushed back from 2022 to 2025, while the new Vanquish won’t be unveiled for another two years. The company will also aim to reduce its annual operating costs by £10 million, in a bid to offset the price of its all-new production facility in St Athan, South Wales.
Stroll said: “On completion of the £500m of fundraising, I look forward to working with the Board and management team in Aston Martin Lagonda to review and improve each aspect of the company’s operations and marketing; to continue to invest in the development of new models and technologies and to start to rebalance production to prioritise demand over supply.
• New Aston Martin DBX prototype review
“I, and my partners, firmly believe that Aston Martin is one of the great global luxury car brands. I believe that this combination of capital and my experience of both the motor industry and building highly successful global brands will mean that, over time, we fulfill Aston Martin Lagonda’s potential.”
Aston Martin’s return to Formula One racing
Lawrence Stroll famously owns the Racing Point Formula One team, having rescued Force India from administration in 2018. He then quickly changed the team’s name and installed his son, Lance, as a driver.
Racing Point will undergo another change for the 2021 season, becoming a works Aston Martin team powered by Mercedes power units – just like Aston Martin’s V8 road cars. Aston Martin has signed an agreement to appear on the F1 grid for the next ten years – meaning it will return to the sport as a full factory operation for the first time since 1960.
The British brand will continue its sponsorship of the Red Bull Racing F1 Team for the 2020 season, while its technical partnership with the race team will remain intact until the first Valkyrie deliveries arrive later this year.
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