Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll has formally taken up his role as executive chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, having completed his purchase of a 25% stake in the firm today.
In addition, it has been revealed that Stroll’s consortium has passed on some of its shares to two further investor consortiums, one of which is led by Mercedes-AMG F1 team principal Toto Wolff.
In January, Stroll’s investment fund had agreed to take a 16.7% stake in Aston Martin for £182 million, at a price of £4 per share. The deal, first reported by Autocar, also included a £318m cash infusion through a new rights issue for a total of £500m.
However, given Aston Martin’s dramatically reduced share price in the interim, Stroll and his fellow investors have radically reworked the agreement to take on a quarter of its shares.
Stroll said: “In the midst of the most challenging environment globally that any of us have ever experienced, all of my and the management team’s energies will now be dedicated to building on the inherent strengths of the company, its brand, engineering, and the skills of its people to forge the foundations of a bright future."
Stroll also reiterated the company's plans to build profits initially, principally by fulfilling pre-orders for the DBX SUV, which are said to number more than 2500, and by reducing supply to meet demand in order to add make its current sports car range more desirable.
“In this first year, we will reset the business,” said Stroll. “Our most pressing objective is to plan to restart our manufacturing operations, particularly to start production of the brand’s first SUV, DBX, and to bring the organisation back to full operating life.
“We will continue to focus significant effort and investment into the continued development of our range of mid-engined cars. These are a crucial next stage in the expansion of our product line-up. Descended from the awesome Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar, the Valhalla and Vanquish are set to position Aston Martin firmly in this sector and complete our range of highly engineered and beautiful sports cars.
“In the longer term, we intend to commit to producing electric cars to combine performance and luxury with environmental sustainability.”
Stroll also emphasised his plans to enter Aston Martin in Formula 1 from 2021, describing it as a crucial marketing platform for the brand. He owns the Racing Point F1 team, for which his son Lance drives and which will be rebranded. He has previously been linked to a deal with the Mercedes team, should the manufacturer decide to withdraw from F1.
However, all parties stressed that Wolff’s involvement as the head of another investment consortium is in a private role and not related to any involvement in either Mercedes’ or Aston Martin’s F1 plans. Mercedes is a minority shareholder in Aston Martin, as well as supplying parts to the firm.
Aston Martin’s production facilities remain shutdown at present as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.