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Aston Martin confirms funding for DBX under Stroll

British manufacturer raises Β£536 million in equity to push on with launch of crucial model

By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Aston Martin is all set to launch its DBX and push on for what it expects to be its fastest period of growth yet, thanks to critical investment of £536 million. That headline figure comes thanks to the placement of private shares totalling £171m to the Lawrence Stroll led Yew Tree Consortium - a part of its £262m total investment - as well as a subsequent rights issue. Aston Martin reckons that the cash secures it 12 months to push forward (once business returns to normal) and, hopefully, time to reap the benefits of what’s anticipated to be its fastest-selling model yet, the DBX.

The car maker has paused production since last week thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak, but said it also has access to a further £150m in credit, leaving it well placed to get the DBX out of the blocks once UK restrictions are lifted.

Along with the SUV, the Vantage Roadster is among the brand’s big launches for 2020; where the DBX is hoped to take Aston sales to new heights, the convertible two-door is hoped to re-invigorate its so-far sluggish Vantage sales. Aston CEO Andy Palmer said the DBX will arrive “shortly after [the company returns] from the Covid-19 enforced shutdown, with an order book now exceeding 2,000 units and deliveries still planned for summer 2020”, so long as the “supply chain [also returns] as currently anticipated”. Palmer emphasised that the firm’s all-new V6 motor is also at an advanced stage of development ahead of its introduction in the Valhalla and Vanquish.

This latest injection of cash also appears to have secured Stroll’s ambition of seeing an Aston team on the F1 grid in 2021, likely via a rebranding of his current outfit, Racing Point. The Canadian businessman takes over from present Aston Martin Lagonda chair, Penny Hughes, from April 20th, and has placed the motor racing project high on his agenda in order to promote the company’s technical prowess. Aston’s technical partnership with Red Bull Racing comes to an end this year, although AM has previously confirmed that the two will continue to work with each other outside of F1 until the “Valkyrie is delivered”.

“[My belief in Aston Martin Lagonda] is most clearly demonstrated by [the consortium’s] investment of £262m which underpins the financial security of the company,” said Stroll in a new statement put out to investors. “This is a very significant capital raise of £536m - due to be made by my consortium and other shareholders at a very challenging time. This gives the necessary stability to reset the business for its long-term future. We have a clear plan to make this happen, including Aston Martin entering an F1 works team next season and I look forward to working with the management team to deliver this programme."

Aston Martin’s latest supply of money is expected to run dry after a year, however, suggesting it’ll need more than just a sales success for the DBX to keep operations running at full pace. Expect Stroll and his team to be working hard on ensuring cash continues to flow inwards during this period of – as he puts it – reset, before the car maker can potentially step up into a position of self-sufficient growth. In what are proving to be increasingly difficult times, these latest developments do look to be a rare beacon of optimism from a sector shrouded in Covid-19 fog. It won’t be until that lifts, though, that we can get a clear picture of how successful Aston’s efforts will be.

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