Saudi Arabia Fund buys 17% stake in Aston Martin

Saudi Arabia Fund buys 17% stake in Aston Martin

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will become the second-largest stakeholder of Aston Martin with a nearly 17 percent stake in a capital raise intended to pay off debt and strengthen its company, the British luxury manufacturer announced on Friday.

The firm announced its intention to raise 653 million pounds ($773.15 million) through PIF’s 78 million pound investment and a second rights offer of 575 million pounds in response to excessive debt, a precipitous stock decline, and a faltering Formula 1 team.

Following the rights offer, Chairman Lawrence Stroll’s Yew Tree will hold an 18.3% share in Aston Martin, leaving the Saudi fund with a 16.7% investment and two board seats at the automaker.

After the capital increase, German automaker Mercedes-Benz AG, which is the company’s current second-largest stakeholder, will own around 9.7 percent. By 2023, the company aimed to increase its investment to up to 20%.

Aston Martin, which frequently appears in the James Bond film series, has had a rocky road since becoming public in late 2018. Nearly 73 percent of its shares have decreased this year on the London Stock Exchange. They set a record low earlier and then increased by 10% on Friday morning.

Aston Martin stated that the debt will be repaid with half of the new capital. At the end of March, the business owed 957 million pounds. Additionally, it will speed up future capital spending.

The Saudi fund would become a significant shareholder in Aston Martin, raising more than 500 million pounds, according to a report in The Financial Times published on Thursday.

PIF, which has shares in the British supercar manufacturer McLaren and the electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Separately, Aston Martin said that its wholesale volumes decreased from 2,901 in the prior year to 2,676 in the first half of 2022. Over 6,660 units are anticipated to be sold for the entire year.

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