Chinese Help for Struggling Aston Martin?
Maybe it won’t be needed, what with a new sport-utility vehicle on the way, but Aston Martin’s deflated stock price and profit dive has the British automaker in search of a financial parachute. By that, we mean investors who can pump a little cash into the company while boosting shareholder confidence.
After a disappointing year, Aston Martin needs to chart a path to better finances, and a Chinese company that’s no stranger to endangered European brands might just be that sugar daddy.
According to the Financial Times, Chinese auto giant Geely is interested in buying a stake in the automaker, which first listed shares back in 2018. Since that 19-pound ($25ish) debut, Aston’s stock price has sunk below 4 pounds. The automaker began the year by issuing another profit warning.
According to sources with knowledge of the matter, Geely is already performing the necessary groundwork for a big share buy. Just how large of one is unknown. Last month, it was reported that Aston was busy courting potential investors.
Geely has fingers in many pies. The conglomerate began the previous decade by purchasing Volvo Cars; it ended the turbulent period by buying a controlling stake in British sports car maker Lotus and entering into a 50:50 joint venture with Daimler to preserve the Smart brand. Over time, Geely slowly amassed a roughly 10-percent stake in Daimler, too.
The company’s cash and relatively hands-off presence helped Volvo back from the brink and allowed Lotus to start talking about offering a full range of vehicles. Planning for those models is already well underway. Should Geely be angling for a major stake, the benefits to Aston Martin could be many. In terms of product, access to the Geely family’s electrification bin would help Aston the most, what with European automakers facing newly stringent emissions standards this year.
[Image: Aston Martin]
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