And why this can be very good news.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Canadian billionaire investor Lawrence Stroll, owner of the Racing Point Formula 1 team, was leading a consortium with the goal of buying a major stake in Aston Martin. The 106-year-old automaker posted a pre-tax loss of $118 million in the first nine months of this year, partly due to unexpectedly weakened demand in Europe. The all-new DBX SUV, slated to get underway shortly at a newly opened factory in South Whales, is predicted to be a solid seller that will help Aston Martin financially recover.
In the meantime, Reuters has an updated report claiming the automaker has now admitted it is in "early stage talks with potential investors about building 'longer term relationships' as part of a funding review." Only last week, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer stated the firm was "not actively soliciting any other participation" when asked to comment on previous reports.
Today, however, it appears this is indeed happening. Not only has Aston Martin reportedly held talks with Stroll, but also with other automakers and potential investors from the Middle East, China, and India. Aston Martin's shares are currently owned by former company chairman David Richards, Daimler AG, an Italian private-equity group, and several Kuwait-based investment groups. The remaining shares are publicly held.
Right now, the automaker's market capitalization is worth only around $1.63 billion, thus making it a prime target for other investors. Previously, Aston Martin said it was not interested in partnerships, alliances, or mergers, but it may soon have little choice due to the challenges of vehicle electrification, new technology, and tighter profit margins.
Selling an additional stake to the right entity could help improve its current financial position. It probably wouldn't be such a bad idea to consider because, at the moment, Aston Martin is betting its future on the hopeful success of the DBX. The aim is to double overall sales in the next year. In other words, if the DBX does not sell as planned, the company could be in real trouble unless, of course, Stroll or anyone else steps up to the plate.