Aston Martin Edges Closer To Stock Market Flotation.
Look Out Ferrari.
Aston Martin’s long expected flotation on the stock market moved a little closer with a report from Reuters that the luxury sports car maker, made famous by starring in James Bond spy movies, had approached investment bank Lazard for a feasibility study.
This would follow in the footsteps of Ferrari, which since its flotation has spurted ahead in stock market value as investors perceived it as more of a luxury company than a car maker.
Aston Martin, owned 37.5% by Italian private equity firm Investindustrial, along with Kuwaiti companies Investment Dar and Adeem Investment and others including Daimler, is in the middle of a turnaround plan.
Aston Martin concept cars include an electric Rapide S. CEO Andy Palmer has said a DBX SUV will be launched in 2020, and the electric Rapide will go into production next year. The company is also planning to use its brand to sell yachts, apartments and handbags.
The Reuters report said the flotation could raise between two and three million euros ($2.4 and $3.5 billion)
Last month, Aston Martin launched its latest machine, the new Vantage sports car, which might worry Ferrari shareholders because it promises competition in a sector where it formally was alone. The Vantage, powered by a twin-turbo 4.0 liter, 503 hp V8 gasoline engine goes on sale around the world in the second quarter of 2018. Priced at $149,995 before tax in the U.S., the Vantage will be a close competitor to the Ferrari Portofino, unveiled at the Frankfurt Car Show in September. The Portofino replaces the California T, as the cheapest model, which has yet to be priced or formally launched.
Ferrari watch out
Investment researcher Evercore ISI in a report Monday headed “Aston Martin set to join Ferrari in luxury auto space” said the successful Ferrari flotation was probably the key persuader for Aston Martin. Evercore ISI reckons the Vantage would provide direct competition in the “cheaper” section of this market.
Ferrari is also believed to be planning a smaller model which will revive the iconic Dino name by the early 2020s. This would be powered by a 2.9 litre V6 engine, perhaps with a plug-in hybrid option.
The Vantage sector is currently only threatened by Ferrari, and high–end versions of the Porsche 911 turbo and Porsche GT3, and Mercedes AMG GTs.
IHS Markit has said it expects global Vantage sales to peak at 3,047 in 2018 and drift down to 2,340 by 2020. The previous model peaked at 1,945 in 2009 and slowly slid to 1,242 this year.
The new Vantage will blast from rest to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and on to 195 mph, deploying its huge power and torque to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission.
Aston Martin made money in the first half of 2017 for the first time in almost 10 years, thanks in part to sales of its new 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 DB11.
In the first six months, Aston Martin earned pre-tax profit of £21.1 million ($28.3 million) compared with a loss of £82.3 million ($110.3 million) in the same period last year.
Sales surged 67% to 2,439 vehicles.
Aston Martin expects full-year volumes to rise by around a third to roughly 5,000.
At the launch of the Vantage, Aston Martin said it was on course this year to post its first annual pre-tax profit since 2010.
Aston Martin has declined to comment on the reports.
Ford sold Aston Martin in 2007.