It’s been a long time indeed since any British car maker was optimistic enough to consider a flotation but as we went to press with this issue it was announced that Aston Martin had confirmed plans for a share offering on the London Stock Exchange.
The move follows record revenues of £876m for 2017, followed by a 14 per cent climb to £449.9m for the first half of 2018, with pre-tax profit for the first six months of this year rising to £20.8m. This contrasts with a £163m loss recorded for 2016, with the recent success driven by sales growth in Asia as well as the US and UK markets.
Aston Martin is majority owned by Kuwait’s Investment Dar and Italy’s Invest-Industrial, while Daimler-Benz owns five per cent as part of a technology supply agreement. This means that it will only be some 25 per cent of the firm’s shares which will be offered publicly, but financial analysts suggest that a valuation of £5bn will be placed on the firm. Not bad for a brand which has been bankrupt no less than seven times and a vindication of CEO Andy Palmer’s turnaround plan.
It’s thought that the flotation will also include discounted purchase schemes for employees and customers.
Aston Martin will be the first British car maker to be listed on the London stock exchange since Jaguar Cars was floated in 1984 when it was demerged from British Leyland. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1973 when Rolls-Royce Motors was listed as a separate company when its parent firm was nationalized.