Aston Martin drives ‘milestone’ £5bn float


Aston Martin says it is gearing up for a “key milestone” in its history through a stock market listing.

The luxury UK sports car manufacturer confirmed a story by Sky News on Tuesday that it had started the flotation process, with the aim of launching the prospectus for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on 20 September.

Further details were expected to be released later on Wednesday when registration documents, submitted to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), are due to be published.

Sky’s City editor, Mark Kleinman, has already reported that the IPO would be expected to value James Bond’s favourite carmaker – currently owned by Italy’s Investindustrial and Kuwaiti vehicle Investment Dar – at £5bn.

The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in both Goldfinger and Thunderball
Image: The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery as James Bond

Around a fifth of Aston Martin Lagonda’s shares would be sold to institutional investors, with 2,700 staff benefiting from a share scheme while customers may also be given preference.

The announcement was made alongside financial results for the first half of 2018 which showed revenues up 8% year-on-year to £445m.

Adjusted underlying profits were 14% higher at £106m.

Andy Palmer, the firm’s president and chief executive, said: “Today’s announcement represents a key milestone in the history of the company, which is reporting strong financial results and increased global demand for its award-winning sports cars.

Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer says much greater investment is needed
Image: Chief executive Andy Palmer had to focus on a financial turnaround in 2014

“As we continue to execute our Second Century Plan, combining a product offensive and expanding manufacturing footprint, we have the resources and balance sheet strength to continue delivering on our growth strategy.

“Today’s results show that we have continued to deliver sustainable growth, margins and value for our shareholders whilst launching three new models and variants in the first half of the year.”

Aston Martin sees the flotation helping to fund its expansion plans, which include the opening of a new manufacturing plant in St Athan in Wales in 2019.

The company, which has previously shrugged off wider industry concerns about Brexit, would be the first UK carmaker to float in London since the 1980s.

The Aston Martin Vantage
Image: An Aston Martin Vantage

The last major sports car manufacturer to launch an IPO was Ferrari in New York three years ago. The flotation valued the brand at $10bn.

Its market value is currently $24bn.

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Commenting on the flotation Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While we’re disappointed there isn’t a retail offering within this IPO, private investors will at least be able to buy shares on the secondary market when they start to trade.

“There are few people who wouldn’t want an Aston Martin on their drive, and even fewer who can afford one. However this stock market float allows investors to buy into a little of the glamour of Aston Martin, without getting a second mortgage.”

From – SkyNews


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