Investindustrial rejects seeking to raise stake in Aston Martin

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Italy’s Investindustrial is not in discussion about boosting its stake in Aston Martin and no decision has been made on a possible stock market listing for the British automaker, the private equity group stated, rejecting an earlier newspaper report.

Italian daily Il Messaggero had reported on Sunday that the fund was in sophisticated negotiations to raise its stake in the maker of the well-known sports car driven by fictional James Bond to 50 percent from 37.5 percent by the end of the year and that it intended to list the company next summer.

The report had included that the fund, led by founder Andrea Bonomi, was to purchase shares from other stakeholders, consisting a consortium of Kuwaiti investors, which presently holds 54.5 percent, Daimler and the group’s management.

A London-based spokesman for Investindustrial rejected the report. “Because of the latest good performance of the Aston Martin business, none of the shareholders want to sell,” the spokesman stated.

Aston Martin last month stated it was on course to post its first yearly pretax profit since 2010, helped by strong demand for the Aston Martin’s DB11 sports car.

There are no conversations on ownership structure at the moment, the spokesman stated, including that the scenario could change in the future “given it is a private equity fund and it might eventually wish to monetize (its) assets”.

He likewise stated that no decision had been taken about a potential going initial public offering (IPO).

Aston Martin stated in an email to Reuters that it did not have any remark “to make on this speculation”.

The group’s CEO Andy Palmer has consistently stated that the decision and timing of an IPO were matters for the shareholders however that it made good sense for them to consider the alternative before the end of the company’s turnaround plan, which is due to finish in 2022.

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