Billionaire poised to launch bid for major Aston Martin stake
Autocar understands Lawrence Stroll, father of F1 racer Lance, is heading consortium looking to take a major shareholding in British sports car firm
Billionaire Lawrence Stroll is preparing a bid to buy a major stake in Aston Martin, Autocar can reveal following a joint investigation with RaceFans.net.
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.
Both the Racing Point F1 team and Aston Martin currently have bases at Silverstone, although Aston’s headquarters are in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Lawrence Stroll declined to comment on the report when contacted by RaceFans.net.
Contacted by Autocar, Aston Martin also made no comment. As a listed company it is bound by strict regulations when it comes to official announcements regarding the stock market, and would be forced to confirm if a formal takeover bid had been launched.
Aston’s share price is currently hovering at around £5, up from a low of just above £4 but well down on its high of around £17. The majority of 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.
The firm has come under intense scrutiny since floating in 2018, with a valuation of around £5bn, and earlier this year had to issue a profit warning after substantially downgrading its sales forecasts in the face of slowing global demand for its products. In the first six months of 2019 it reported losses of nearly £80m.
Additional reporting by Dieter Rencken