Aston Martin to raise £500m in emergency funding

Aston Martin cars Image copyright Reuters

Struggling luxury UK carmaker Aston Martin has announced plans to raise emergency funding worth £500m.

A consortium led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll will put in £182m, with the rest coming from issuing fresh shares to existing investors.

Mr Stroll partly owns the Racing Point Formula 1 team, which will be branded Aston Martin under the deal.

The move comes hours after a board meeting held to discuss how to prop up the ailing firm.

Aston Martin said the moves were aimed at strengthening its balance sheet after its “disappointing performance” in 2019.

Penny Hughes will be stepping down as Aston Martin’s chairman as part of the deal.

She said: “The difficult trading performance in 2019 resulted in severe pressure on liquidity which has left the company with no alternative but to seek substantial additional equity financing.

“Without this, the balance sheet is not robust enough to support the operations of the group.

“Notwithstanding recent weak trading, the strength of the Aston Martin brand and our expanding portfolio of cars has allowed us to attract a strong new partner in Mr Stroll to support the turnaround of the business.”

Earlier this month, the 106-year-old firm issued a profit warning, saying annual earnings were expected to fall by nearly half from a year earlier.

It said core retail sales – which covers sales from Aston Martin dealers to consumers – were up 12% from a year earlier. However, wholesale volumes – which covers how many cars the dealers are ordering from Aston Martin itself – were down 7% to 5,809.

The company said it was expecting earnings of between £130m and £140m, well below the £247.3m it reported last year.

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