Following a meeting on Monday, Aston Martin's shareholders have agreed to the financial rescue plan proposed by a consortium of investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
Stroll, who leads the Racing Point Formula One team and is father to current driver Lance Stroll, originally agreed in January to pay $239 million for a 16.7-percent stake in the company, as well as inject $72.8M in short-term funding.
However, a sharp drop in Aston Martin's share price in the months following the announcement has led to the deal being renegotiated. Under the new deal, Stroll and his investors will pay $210M for an expected 25-percent stake via a private placement of shares. They will also inject $112M in short-term funding.
Aston Martin will also raise funds via a rights issue, which together with Stroll's investment should see the company raise a total $660M. As part of the deal, Stroll will also take over as chairman from current chair Penny Hughes on April 20.
2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
Aston Martin said on Monday that it is in a very tight situation due to the Covid-19 coronavirus and without the new investment it wouldn't have the funds to support its next 12 months of operations. The company has already temporarily ceased operations at its plants and is about to furlough employees due to the pandemic. Should the situation worsen, Aston Martin said it also has access to $184M in credit lines.
Aston Martin's shares trade on the London Stock Exchange and were priced at $24 during its initial listing in late 2018. The price has decreased since then as sales and profits deteriorated over the course of 2019 and currently sits at $2.78.
The good news is that Aston Martin has over 2,000 orders for the DBX which should commence deliveries in the summer, assuming production can start at the vehicle's St Athan plant in the United Kingdom. The automaker is also committed to entering F1 next year with a rebranding of the current Racing Point team. It will be the first time an Aston Martin races in F1 since the 1950s.
“The company's first SUV, DBX, will start production shortly after returning from the Covid-19 enforced shutdown, with an order book now exceeding 2,000 units and deliveries still planned for summer 2020,” said Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. “We also have a firm forward order book for our core sports cars, which includes strong initial orders for our new Vantage Roadster. Our all new V-6 hybrid powertrain is already well advanced in development and will enter production with the Valhalla supercar, followed by the Vanquish mid-engined car in the mid-term."