Lawrence Stroll to take bigger stake in Aston Martin

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The investment fund headed by billionaire Lawrence Stroll has reworked its planned investment in Aston Martin – taking a bigger slice of the company as a result.

While other car firms also suffered, the British company’s share price has been especially badly hit by market uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. At one point earlier this week shares were listed at under £2 (AUD$3.97) each.

In January, Stroll’s investment fund had agreed to take a 16.7% stake in Aston Martin for £182 million (AUD $362 million) , at a price of £4 (AUD$7.94) per share. The deal first reported on AutoDaily.com.au also included a £318 million cash (AUD$631 million) infusion through a new rights issue, for a total of £500 million (AUD$992 million).

Given Aston’s dramatically reduced share price, Stroll and his fellow investors have radically reworked the agreement. The revised deal will be worth a total capital raise of £536 million (AUD$1.062 billion), with Stroll’s investment fund, named Yew Tree, taking a larger 25% stake in the company at a value of £2.25 (AUD$4.47) per share. Yew Tree will also provide £75.5 million (AUD$150 million) in “short-term working capital support” to ensure Aston has the liquidity it needs to meet the revised investment timetable. That is an increase in £20 million (AUD$40 million) from original plans.

The annual general meeting scheduled for 16 March has been postponed, with voting to approve the new deal to be conducted by proxy.

Stroll said: “There has been a significant change in the global market environment in which Aston Martin Lagonda operates. What has not changed is our commitment to provide the Company with the necessary funding it needs to manage through this period, to reset the business and to deliver on its long-term potential.

“Following recent moves in the share price and discussions with the Board, I and my consortium of investors, have agreed that we will now acquire 25% of the company and take up our rights in full in return for a long-term capital Investment of £262 million (AUD$520 million).  In addition, we have agreed to advance a further £20 million (AUD$40 million) in short term funding to support the company, bringing this total amount to £75.5 million (AUD$150 million).  Whilst the immediate outlook looks increasingly challenging, I remain fully committed to the future of Aston Martin Lagonda and look forward to implementing our plans once the fundraising is complete.”

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