Who will be its financial savior?
Over the past several weeks, Aston Martin has reportedly been speaking with a few interested financial saviors. The UK automaker experienced a pre-tax loss of $118 million in the first nine months of 2019. December sales were also disappointing, leading to wholesale 2019 volume dropping by seven percent. The all-new Aston Martin DBX SUV must be a huge sales success, but relying on one model alone is simply bad business, hence the outside financial help. One of those saviors is reportedly Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
Just last week, however, we learned that Chinese automaker Geely, which also owns both Volvo and Lotus, was also interested in purchasing a financial stake in Aston Martin. A new report from Bloomberg, however, indicates that Stroll now appears to be the frontrunner.
Sources close to the matter claim Geely CEO Li Shufu is "cooling on the idea of a deal with Aston Martin." No explanation was given. Although no final agreements have been reached, Stroll and his associates are reportedly proceeding with an investment to the tune of around $261 million.
It's also still possible Aston Martin could fail to reach an agreement with any potential investors. If that's the case, we're not entirely certain what other options it will have. In any case, those same unidentified sources claim the automaker could make a decision as early as this month.
The talk of any potential investors has actually been good for Aston Martin, as its shares on the stock market rose by 15 percent when Geely's potential investment became public. A majority of Aston Martin's shares are held by the Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon group. The Strategic European Investment Group holds roughly one-third of Aston's shares, while Daimler owns 5 percent. Stroll was reportedly seeking a 19.9 percent stake.
Until an official announcement is made, anything regarding Stroll and/or Geely is still subject to speculation. But if Aston Martin is truly determined to make a major financial decision about its long-term security by the end of this month, it has less than two weeks to do so.