The British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin unveiled on Thursday 18 May a new partnership with the Chinese automotive group Geely. By injecting 234 million pounds, the latter becomes the third shareholder.
Aston Martin is fighting for its independence. The luxury car manufacturer, headed by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, has been courted by the Chinese car group Geely since last year. The latter took another 7.6% stake on Thursday and is trying to take control by becoming the majority shareholder.
But for the moment, the Yew Tree consortium, of which Lawrence Stroll is chairman of the board, remains the largest shareholder with about 21% of the capital. Geely now holds about 17%, behind the Saudi fund Public Investment Fund (18%).
After this agreement, Geely, which already owns Volvo, has the “right to appoint a non-executive director to the board of Aston Martin”, it said in a statement.
“Geely Holding, which became a shareholder last year, sees tremendous long-term potential for Aston Martin”, said Lawrence Stroll. “This is another example of how we are building Aston Martin into a desirable ultra-luxury brand.”
“Our decision to increase our stake in Aston Martin reflects our confidence in the company’s growth prospects, its technologies and its management team”, said Eric Li, Geely’s Chairman of the Board. He added that he “looks forward to exploring technology synergies and new growth opportunities to help this iconic brand reach its full potential.”
Aston Martin had announced in early May a narrowed first-quarter loss of 73.8 million pounds, down from 112 million pounds a year earlier. For Victoria Scholar, an analyst at Interactive Investor, Geely’s investment “is welcome at a time when there are growing concerns about the impact of the Brexit deal for carmakers.”
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