Currently reading: Geely and Stroll in final talks to invest in Aston Martin - report
Aston calls emergency board meeting to weigh up offers, the Financial Times claims
Jim Holder
News
3 mins read
30 January 2020

*READ THE LATEST: Aston Martin reveals investment from billionaire Lawrence Stroll*

Chinese car maker Geely and billionaire Lawrence Stroll are in final talks to invest in Aston Martin, according to a report by the Financial Times.

It reports that offers to invest around £200m for an approximate 20% stake in Aston are being weighed up at an emergency board meeting that has been convened this evening. A final decision is expected by early next week, but could come as soon as tomorrow (Friday) morning.

*READ THE LATEST: Aston Martin reveals investment from billionaire Lawrence Stroll*

Geely is also the owner of Lotus and Volvo, a part-owner of Smart and a significant shareholder in Daimler. It's interest is said to be spurred by the potential to share parts with Lotus. It has also been mentioned in connection with a possible  - separate - shareholding in the Mercedes F1 team, potentially in league with Stroll.

It has also been previously suggested that Geely's involvement may not preclude billionaire Lawrence Stroll's mooted investment; he is also said to be in advanced talks with the firm, and reported to be seeking a 20% stake in it for around £200m.

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.

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. Both the Racing Point F1 team and Aston Martin currently have bases at Silverstone, although Aston's headquarters are in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Aston, Stroll and Geely have not commented on the latest reports.

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.

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Earlier this year Aston issued an unexpected profit warning due to "challenging trading conditions". Revealing the firm sold 5819 cars in 2019, 7% down on 2018, chief executive Andy Palmer said Aston had suffered a "very disappointing year [in 2019]".

“The challenging trading conditions highlighted in November continued through the peak delivery period of December resulting in lower sales, higher selling costs and lower margins,” said Palmer.

As a result Palmer said that Aston's earnings margin for 2019 will be 12.5-13.5 per cent. Last summer it issued a warning that the margin would be 20%, triggering a substantial fall in its stock price. Palmer added that adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation will be £130-140m, around £60m below expectations.

Palmer also revealed Aston spent more on marketing and underwriting finance than previously.

“Whilst we are disappointed with trading performance in 2019, our focus is now on revitalising the business, launching DBX and ensuring profitable growth in the medium-term," added Palmer.

Additional reporting by Dieter Rencken

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abkq 31 January 2020

Dont see much future in such

Dont see much future in such a narrow niche-market car company that specialises in two-door GT coupes that burn a lot of fossil fuel. Why should Geely bother when it already has forward-looking Volvo with much broader vision?
The DBX is just another addition to the crowded luxury SUV market. Its underwhelming standard-issue interior will I guess deter potential customers.
john386 12 January 2020

Geely

How to kill the brand at a stroke, let in the Chinese! The danger is that the future holds "profits" more than anything else and to do that, parts would be sourced from Geely with all the quality issues that brings with it.  i cant see them putting money in and then sitting quietly without wanting some reward. Salami slicing the product eventually into Chinese content. They are world experts of doing that.

lambo58 12 January 2020

I refer to the answer I gave

I refer to the answer I gave to your previous post.
As for branding, what you are talking about is legacy that we have built up over decades.
Let you into a secret you already know.
Legacy lasts only so long and has to be kept up otherwise it turns into another dodo, just like us Brits no longer have a car industry anymore because many of us thought it was rediculous to expect to make money.
Pathetic but true.
lambo58 11 January 2020

It's amazing, even with this

It's amazing, even with this company on the floor with its trousers around its ankles you think it's not in the same level as Porsche but higher.

Get real and smell the proverbial.

Aston Martin as long as I can remember has bumbled from one crisis to another with diehard idiots trying to breathe life into a dead cat

This company needs a complete overhaul of everything. The same is true of JLR should it go public and the opening price be too high, and I am one who will quite gladly short the bollocks of it till it bleeds.

Once a trader, always a trader

john386 12 January 2020

Shorting the company

You state clearly the underlying cause of the demise in British industry. Our free market economy values profits above all else, unlike say, the Germans or the French. Funny that, they still have and industrial base. The City would sell any company today for a quick profit and screw tomorrow. That in essence, is the trouble with the UK.
lambo58 12 January 2020

Jon, without exception the

Jon, without exception the germans whether you like it or not have excelled in technical excellence and build but maybe not reliable cars, they run second to the Japanese in that.
Us Brits are tremendous at luxury fittings and ambience but cant seem to get technical excellence and reliability right and that's why I have banged on about that for years.
The boys in the city have no emotion about it one way or another and can sense bullshit a mile away and I'm afraid that AM is a case in point along with JLR products, we are not malicious, we are logical and until these so called hand crafted cars offer greater reliability etc
As for the Chinese providing a dilution of quality for our cars.
Are you serious?
They already build the highest quality products in the world bar none.
Why do you think Apples higest tech gadgets are built there?
They are now innovating on a frightening level, but I understand that if you don't travel much as I do you wouldnt grasp that.
Besides which, do you really think that they could do a worse job than we are already doing?
C'mon, seriously.
Pietro Cavolonero 30 January 2020

Hear Hear!!

Knobheads in the City with an eye on a fast buck! To short a company till it bleeds must be comforting to all those families facing an uncertain future because a cabal of spivs and wankers want to get an obscene bonus.

I'm more right than left wing but these leeches and self serving blood suckers give the "free" market a bad name

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