Billionaire poised to launch bid for major Aston Martin stake

Tanya Simon
December 6, 2019

Lawrence Stroll, owner of F1 team Racing Point stands on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 30, 2018 in Sochi, Russia.

Canadian billionaire and Formula One team Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll reportedly may bid to buy a major stake in luxury sports auto manufacturer Aston Martin.

The British sports vehicle maker's share price has slumped since its initial public offering in October past year.

Aston Martin's shares were up almost 15 per cent at 5.79 pounds ($7.43) at 1148 GMT, still far below their IPO price of 19 pounds.

Racefans.net said Racing Point could be rebranded as Aston Martin if Stroll succeeded in taking a controlling stake.

Aston Martin's share price now hovers around 5 British pounds (approximately $6.57), down from a high of about 16 British pounds shortly after the IPO.

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But the sale of a stake could help boost the company's prospects as it seeks to turn around a poor performance, which pushed it to a 92.3 million pound ($118.4 million) loss in the first nine months of the year.

As Red Bull's main F1 sponsors, Aston Martin face a clash of interest.

Mercedes' parent Daimler DAIGn.DE also has a small stake in Aston. His son, Lance, now drives for Racing Point.

Stroll, who is estimated to be worth US$2.6 billion ($3.8 billion) by Forbes, made his fortune by investing in and building up many well-known fashion brands, including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.

According to a joint report from Autocar and RaceFans, the 60-year-old billionaire who led the consortium that took over Force India last year is considering another big four-wheel deal. Both Stroll's team and some Aston Martin production cars use engines sourced from Mercedes-Benz.

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