Aston Martin Boss Invests More To Prevent Chinese Takeover

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Lawrence Stroll is trying to prevent Geely from taking over.

Yew Tree investment group, led by Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, has increased its ownership of the British automaker to 28.29%, reports Autocar.

The publication reveals that their investment was around 19% earlier this year, but after Chinese automaker Geely increased its stake a couple of months ago, Yew Tree and Stroll became suspicious. To ward off any chance of a hostile takeover, Aston Martin began soliciting more investment, and Yew Tree ultimately made a series of investments worth a total of roughly £50 million (over $60 million) over the past few months.

As you may recall, Aston Martin has been facing financial trouble for a long time, but Stroll and his group are clearly still confident that they can lead the iconic marque to greater success.

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After Yew Tree began increasing its shareholding last month, Stroll said: "As a group of investors, we share a firm belief that Aston Martin is undervalued and that, despite the recent supply chain challenges, it is well set to continue its growth trajectory in the ultra-luxury performance automotive business. Our collective confidence in the medium and long-term success of the business is driven by the strength of the order book, the exciting portfolio of new products that are set to come to market, and Aston Martin's global brand awareness."

Yew Tree and Aston Martin would not comment on speculation that the increased investments were made to keep Geely at bay, but the British brand has looked like it needs help for a long time now.

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Aston Martin has been bankrupt seven times since its founding in 1913 and has been seeking further investment numerous times in recent years, but Yew Tree and Stroll apparently do not want to relinquish control of the automaker.

When Geely made its initial share purchase, Stroll said that he and his fellow Aston Martin bosses had turned down a £1.3 billion (over $1.5 billion) offer that was made by private equity firm Invest Industrial - a former major investor in the automaker - and others: "They were really just trying to make an offer, in the banks' and our opinion, to buy the company on the cheap, coming through the back door rather than going through the front door and paying a premium. We believe it was a disguised approach."

So when Geely boss Li Shufu was reported to be looking to increase its stake in Aston to at least 10%, as reported by Bloomberg, Stroll and his partners seem to have assumed that Geely wanted to try something similar.

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Autocar reports that Aston Martin's share price has almost doubled from November figures and that the company is valued at £1.2 billion ($1.44 billion), but this is still far less than when the company was listed in 2018. Back then, the company was valued at £4 billion ($4.8 billion).

Whatever Stroll and his partners have planned, we hope that the company can avoid any more financial trouble going forward. The Vantage is beginning to age, as is the DBX and most of Aston Martin's range. Hopefully, this latest round of investment will be enough to see the automaker flourish in 2023 and beyond.

CarBuzz
Source Credits: Autocar

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