Aston Martin confirms DBX production and F1 entry

The investment from Stroll’s so-called Yew Tree consortium stands at a total of $531 million, $346m of which has come today as part of the rights issue. The balance has come from existing company shareholders.

Aston’s share price has been in freefall ever since its stock market launch at $38 per share towards the end of 2018. It fell another 18% today to finish at $4.60 per share, before this deal was announced. It has tonight said that it would not have the funds to meet the 12 months of investment needed in its previous financial plan announced on 13 March due to the dramatic impact COVID-19 is having on its business.

Stroll, who replaces outgoing chair Penny Hughes, gave little detail on the plans to enter F1 as a works team, but it’s expected to be a renaming of his existing Racing Point squad. Aston’s title sponsorship of Red Bull Racing ends this year, although the two remain committed to bringing the co-developed Valkyrie hypercar into production this year.

“I, and my co-investors in the consortium, continue to believe passionately in the future of Aston Martin Lagonda,” said Stroll. “This is most clearly demonstrated by our investment of $531m which underpins the financial security of the company. This is a very significant capital raise of $1.08b – due to be made by my consortium and other shareholders at a very challenging time.

“This gives the necessary stability to reset the business for its long-term future. We have a clear plan to make this happen, including Aston Martin entering an F1 works team next season and I look forward to working with the management team to deliver this programme.”

Aston CEO Andy Palmer said there were 2000-plus orders for the DBX, as well as strong early demand for the recently announced Vantage Roadster. Beyond those, development would continue on the new V6 hybrid drivetrain as well as the Valhalla and Vanquish mid-engined supercars that Aston is prioritising development of ahead of the Lagonda sub-brand of electric cars that had been due to join the DBX at St Athan.

Aston’s two production sites at Gaydon and St Athan are currently on shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and many of its staff are being furloughed where appropriate. It has said it will look at all government help and support on offer in order to protect the company’s future.

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