Aston Martin completes rights issue fundraising as Stroll plans ‘rebalancing’


Aston Martin completes rights issue fundraising as Stroll plans ‘rebalancing’

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC (LON:AML) completed its rights issue and new executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian fashion financier and F1 backer, took control on Monday.

The billionaire, who agreed a £500mln rescue deal for a 25% stake in the struggling carmaker in January that was later upped to £536mln, said the aim was to restart production safely amid the coronavirus lockdown, particularly to start production of the brand’s first SUV, the Aston Martin DBX.

To bring the organisation back to full operating life, Stroll said this will be done “in a way that ensures we will protect our people, wherever they work”. 

He also stressed that a key medium-term plan was “the necessary rebalancing of supply to demand for our core models”.

Aston Martin will also prepare to re-take its place on the Formula 1 grid next year through the merger with Stroll’s Racing Point F1 team.

Stroll, whose Yew Tree Overseas Ltd consortium now has a 25% stake, said the company will “continue to focus significant effort and investment into the continued development of our range of mid-engined cars”, the Valhalla and Vanquish, which he said “are a crucial next stage in the expansion of our product line-up”. 

Electric car production is something to which the company would commit “in the longer term”, with the rescue plan including a delaying of electric vehicle plans beyond 2025.

The new 4-for-1 rights issue shares began trading on Monday after acceptance by 98% of shareholders, with the remaining 2% underwritten by the investment banks.

Of Aston Martin’s previous major shareholders, Italian private equity group Investindustrial’s vehicles took up their full rights issue quota and own around a 25% stake, while Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon’s stake will have fallen below 10% after taking up only half of its rights.

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