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Financial Times: Discussing a Saudi investment in Aston Martin worth $243.5 million

The Saudi Public Investment Fund has held early talks with Aston Martin about buying a stake in the company that could be worth up to 200 million pounds ($243.5 million), according to the Financial Times.

Aston Martin DBX 2022

And the shares in Aston Martin reduced its losses by 9 per cent, after falling to 20 per cent last Thursday, but without the company denying or confirming the truth of the matter. Instead, Aston Martin, in a stock market announcement shortly after the FT broke the story, said it was keeping funding options under review regularly. "Any financing option, if explored and implemented, would be to support and accelerate the company's future growth," she added.

Shares of the London-listed carmaker have fallen by about 68 per cent so far this year. The Financial newspaper, quoting 4 people, said that the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which owns shares in Lucid Motors and McLaren, is in talks to acquire new shares.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston faces the challenge of financing its next generation of sports cars and electric cars, at a time when the company is heavily indebted and produces no net cash. The company doesn't expect to start making money before 2023, and Aston's priority is to start paying some of its high-interest debt.

The group has £957m of net debt at the end of March and expects to pay around £130m of debt interest this year.

Sales are lower than they were two years ago, after Aston reduced its reliance on selling wholesale models to dealerships, while the company was also slower than expected to roll out the Valkyrie supercar. Now the company is looking for new sources of financing for its next generation of vehicles, which are essential to the company's survival.

The group also announced that trading is in line with expectations, with "sports cars sold until 2023 and orders for DBX (its luxury sports utility vehicle) are 40 percent higher than the previous year."

Aston Martin DBX 2022

The discussions are a reflection of the company's stated position in February, when president and owner Lawrence Stroll insisted the company did not need additional funding. "Let me be perfectly clear, in black and white: We don't need the money," he said at the time.

Aston Martin already has a relationship with the kingdom, after a deal with Aramco to rename the Formula 1 team. Stroll, who invested in the company in January 2020, was trying to orchestrate a turnaround in the business, emptying showrooms of redundant cars and trying to realign the offer with real customer demand for help. in rebuilding the luxury brand's credentials.

Last month, Stroll revealed that Aston had rejected an approach from Audi about its Formula 1 team entering the sport from 2026. Stroll, whose son Lance races on the team, told analysts last month he was "very happy with our relationship with Mercedes".

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told the Financial Times last month that the brand could lay off one of three F1 engine customers, one of whom is Aston, because of the new rules. Any investment by an existing automaker would be complicated by Aston's relationship with Mercedes-Benz, which owns a fifth of the automaker's shares and a technical deal to supply Aston with engines and other systems.

Last month, Aston appointed former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felica as the company's new CEO, succeeding former Mercedes boss Tobias Morse. The replacement makes Phylissa Aston's third CEO in two years.

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