Aston Martin gets listed on London Stock Exchange

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar Uk 03 Oct 2018

Aston Martin was floated on the London Stock Exchange at 8 am of Wednesday 3 October (12.30 pm today in India), with an initial offer price of £19 (Rs 1,807) per share – valuing the British car maker at £4.33 billion (Rs 41,203 crore).

The firm will offer 57,000,723 shares, representing 25 percent of the company and a total value of £1.08bn (Rs 10,277 crore). Current Aston Martin Lagonda shareholders could also make a further 5,700,072 shares in the case of an over-allotment option, which would result in a total share issue worth £1.19bn (Rs 11,319 crore) (27.5 percent of the company). Aston will be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 100 index (for the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest valuation), but the £19 (Rs 1,807) share value means it will likely fall just short of entering that index initially.

The company will trade on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker 'AML'. 

Before the flotation, Aston has revealed a guide price of between £17.50 (Rs 1,664) and £22.50 (Rs 2,140) per ordinary share.

Eligible Aston Martin employees, customers and owners' club members based in the UK will benefit from a specific share offer. Daimler will retain its 4.9 percent share, locked in for 12 months, while Investindustrial's stake will be locked in for 180 days.  

Earlier this year, Aston also published its half-year financial results that show a 14 percent increase in revenue to just below £450 million, with pre-tax profits rising from £20.1m to £20.8m (Rs 191 crore to Rs 197 crore). At the initial valuation given for the company's shares, it stands a good chance of becoming part of the FTSE 100 as the value increases.

The British supercar maker is currently owned by Italian and Kuwaiti shareholders, alongside other minority investors. Investindustrial took a 37.5 percent stake in Aston in 2012, with Daimler also owning a 4.9 percent share. With interest globally, there was debate about whether the company should float its shares in London or New York.

The decision to float Aston has been long been mooted as sales continue to grow, with new products such as the DB11 and Vantage ensuring the company’s financial outlook is strong. 

There is more to come, with the Gaydon-based car maker's 'Second Century' plan seeing one new 'core' model launched every year until 2022, such as the DBX SUV and an all-new Lagonda saloon. Each model will have a seven-year life cycle before being replaced. 

The most recent financial results show seven consecutive quarters of profitability, with CEO Andy Palmer leading a turnaround that marks an end to a tumultuous period in the brand's 105-year history. Aston spent years losing money, with the threat of bankruptcy recurring several times. Last year, it turned its first profit since 2010. Palmer called the IPO a "key milestone" in Aston's history.

At the time of the IPO, he said: "Today's results show that we have continued to deliver sustainable growth, margins and value for our shareholders whilst launching three new models and variants in the first half of the year."

Aston claims that it is on track to produce between 6200 and 6400 cars in 2018, with up to 65 percent of those being produced in the latter half of the year. 

Rival car maker Ferrari had great success with its stock market flotation in 2015, doubling the company’s value to around £15bn (Rs 142,720 crore) in little less than a year. McLaren has also considered a stock market entry in a bid to further boost investment.