Billionaire Lawrence Stroll Rescues Aston Martin With $657M Bailout
It's good to be rich.
Confirmed by a London Stock Exchange filing on Friday morning, a group of investors led by Canadian billionaire, fashion tycoon, and Racing Point Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll just took a 16.7% stake in Aston Martin for the British equivalent of approximately $239 million. The group beat out Geely, the Chinese automaker that also owns Volvo and Lotus, in buying a chunk of the British luxury automaker, reports Autocar.
The investment comes as a financial relief to Aston after the company experienced "the disappointing performance of the business through 2019." In 2018, Aston Martin was valued at almost $6 billion whereas today, it's only worth a little over $1.3 billion. Friday's transaction also involved a cash infusion of $418 million from Stroll for a total financial boost of approximately $657 million (or, as a round number, 500 million British pounds).
Stroll will join the company as chairman while Andy Palmer will stay on as CEO. Cost-cutting to the tune of $13 million per year and personnel shakeups are expected, with the company issuing a press release on Friday appointing new heads for its technical, sales, and marketing departments as well as moving the president of its American arm to its Executive Committee.
What does this all mean for the brand? Well, for starters, the Stroll-owned Racing Point F1 team (previously SportPesa, previously Force India, previously something else...) will be known as Aston Martin F1 starting in 2021. Aston Martin's road car strategy will undergo a rejig as well. The upcoming relaunch of its ultra-luxury Lagonda sub-brand and the company's first electric cars have been delayed until after 2025 while the electric Rapide E project has been "paused pending a review."
AM will collaborate with Red Bull Advanced Technologies until the 1,160-hp Valkyrie hypercar comes out this year but whether or not the two companies will continue to work together beyond this—including final development on the Valhalla set to release in 2022—is up in the air. Post-Valhalla, Aston is scheduled to deliver a new, mid-engined Vanquish as well as a "fuel-efficient, modular V6 engine with hybrid capabilities."
The Drive reached out to Aston Martin for details and we will update this story when we hear back.
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