Aston Martin to (Finally) Go Public?

Rumor / Comments

Aston Martin, in a bid to raise funds to up production for China, may actually take an IPO to the London Stock Exchange.

Ever since Aston Martin was first sold by Ford in 2007 for $765 million to Prodrive Founder Dave Richards' private consortium (which included Kuwait's Investment Dar Co.), reported interest has always there to file an initial public offering (IPO). The British automaker is currently about to set off on a massive expansion plan and the search for funding has taken them all the way to the lucrative Chinese market, with reports of another IPO around the corner for the classic car company.

"We are still thinking of an IPO… We will be ready for it if the time is right. You need to pick the right window," said Aston Martin Chief Executive Office Ulrich Bez at a press briefing at the carmaker's manufacturing center in Gaydon, England. Fundraising efforts have already taken off, with $485 million in secured notes having been issued. According to Bez, an IPO may be the final push Aston Martin needs to secure all their funding. Rumor has it that the IPO will be conducted on the London Stock Exchange.

The need for funds is pretty great for the British automaker, as they are about to collect an import license for China which would allow them to increase their sales substantially and they will need to able to keep up with the demand. The Brits also want to continue to expand their product line to capitalize on the new open markets. Aston Martin already sells their DB9 in China through independent auto retailers. Currently valued at £125,000, they have already imported over 4,200 units to China. "We came very late to the party in China," continued Michael van der Sande, Aston's Chief Commercial Officer.

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"We are now taking it much more seriously," he finished. Aston's CEO Ulrich Bez mentioned several times at the briefing that Aston Martin was under no pressure from shareholders to carry out an IPO and can finance current development plans without raising cash.

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