Lawrence Stroll Ups His Aston Martin Stake to 25% as Stock Plummets
Taking advantage of plummeting stock prices, billionaire investor Lawrence Stroll is upping his $656 million investment in Aston Martin, the company said. The stock at one point was down to less than $3 a share in the last week, prompting Stroll to rework his early February deal from a 16.7% stake to a 25% stake at about $2.75 a share. Stroll’s company, Yew Tree, is also providing a $93 million cash infusion—$24.5 million more than originally planned.
Voting on the deal is being handled by proxy after the annual general meeting was postponed due to coronavirus.
In Aston’s announcement, Stroll said that while there has been “significant change in the global market environment in which Aston Martin Lagonda operates,” his commitment to Aston hasn’t changed. He said, “The immediate outlook looks increasingly challenging, (but) I remain fully committed to the future of Aston Martin Lagonda and look forward to implementing our plans once the fundraising is complete.”
Aston said in the announcement it is “proactively” managing its supply chain and business during the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with parts secured for a couple more weeks. It also said COVID-19 has impacted customer demand in China and Asia and that it could do the same in other markets.
Aston boss Andy Palmer said: “We are actively managing the potential impacts of COVID-19 on a daily basis, most particularly in our tier 2 supply chain, with no disruption to production to date and are mindful of the ongoing uncertainties and risks to the business.
“The first two months of the year were planned to be our smallest in wholesale unit terms, as we start to rebalance supply and demand: a key component of our plan to turn around performance and restore our price positioning. Trading has generally been in line with these conservative expectations, with retail performance slightly better than planned.”
Last week we reported Aston is working on a hybrid V6, likely turbocharged, to replace the AMG V8 used in almost everything the company makes, including Vantage, DB11 and the DBX SUV. The engine is expected to have more horsepower than the AMG’s 503 hp.
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