Economy, Auto

Aston Martin May Consider IPO in London

Aston Martin May Consider IPO in LondonAston Martin May Consider IPO in London

Aston Martin may consider an initial public offering (IPO or stock market launch) as early as next year as the British automaker seeks to capitalize on the success of the Italian Ferrari’s listing to lure investors.

The century-old carmaker, whose owners include Investindustrial Advisors, could list in London, according to informed sources who asked not to be identified because the talks are “private,” Automotive New Europe reported citing Bloomberg on May 20.

Aston Martin is waiting to report 2017 financial results before choosing advisers for a formal process.

Investindustrial is “not working on an IPO. Banks often come to us and our partners to pitch ideas to position themselves for potential future mandates,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Any future decision regarding an IPO will be a matter for shareholders and Aston Martin’s board.”

The luxury sports carmaker could aim for a valuation similar to Ferrari, which was listed in New York in 2015, said the sources.

Ferrari’s shares have risen about 62% since its IPO and trade at about 14 times estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which also valued Aston Martin at 2.3 billion pounds ($3 billion).

Still, while Aston Martin sells similar vehicles, the British manufacturer lacks the global cache of Ferrari, which has been labeled the world’s most powerful auto brand by consultancy Brand Finance. Meanwhile, Aston Martin doesn’t appear in the marketing researcher’s list of the top 500 global brands. It sells about 4,000 cars a year, less than half of Ferrari’s deliveries.

 Moving Beyond Staples

The company has been considering a potential IPO since 2011 when former CEO Ulrich Bez said a listing would be a natural exit for its investors. Current CEO Andy Palmer has pledged to venture beyond the automaker’s staple offering of high-end sports cars as it positions itself for a listing.

A new factory in Wales will produce the DBX crossover, which the company says will be “practical and family friendly,” rather than merely luxurious and fast. Aston Martin is also expanding with a push into yachts, apartments and handbags.

The carmaker is controlled by Italian private equity firm Investindustrial, with Kuwaiti companies Investment Dar and Adeem Investment as its other main shareholders. Investindustrial bought a 37.5% stake in the British manufacturer in 2012.

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