China’s Geely Automobile Holding is discussing with Aston Martin management and investors regarding a stake in the luxury carmaker that it wants to take, according to a source knowledgeable about the discussions and a report by the Financial Times, resulting in an increase in the British company’s share price.
The Chinese group is carrying out due diligence on the 107-year-old UK automaker, the cars of which are the drive of choice for fictional British secret agent James Bond, the FT reported, mentioning four people knowledgeable with the discussions.
News of Geely’s interest comes a month following confirmation from Aston Martin that it was in early talks with potential investors as it released a review of its funding.
A stake sale could help to boost Aston’s prospects after it reported a loss in the third quarter and added this week that 2019 profit would be nearly halved from the previous year due to the weak European markets.
Geely observes potential savings on technologies and vehicle platforms with integration between Aston Martin and its own Lotus brand, the source close to the matters informed Reuters. Geely also owns Volvo and a stake in Germany’s Daimler.
An Aston Martin spokesman refused to comment on whether the company is in discussion with Geely, saying only that they are currently in talks with potential investors.
A spokesman for Geely Europe refused to comment.
Daimler, which owns a 5% stake in Aston Martin and provides the automaker with Mercedes-AMG engines, supports efforts by the British automaker to secure its long-term future, the source stated.
Daimler refused to comment.
Geely Chairman Li Shufu has a 9.69% stake in Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, which operates the Smart city car brand with Geely as a joint venture outside China.
Media reports in December stated that Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, owner of Formula One team Racing Point, was planning a bid for a large stake in Aston Martin.