Public, going public. That is the conclusion of those close to luxury British car manufacturer Aston Martin, with a float potentially happening as soon as next year, according to Bloomberg. An Aston Martin IPO on the London Stock Exchange would certainly stir investors into action.
Whilst the company has insisted that no final decisions have yet been made – and is also waiting to report on its 2017 figures – before deciding which route its are likely to take, the company’s finances should now be in rude health, given they issued £530m in a bond in March of 2017 to refinance existing debt.
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Any float would also see Aston Martin follow in the footsteps of Ferrari NV, which went public on the NYSE in 2015 and has seen its share price increase by 62% in the period since its IPO. This is clearly interesting to Aston Martin and its current shareholders, though doubts remain if the company’s brand is strong enough to enjoy the same level of success, especially given that it sells half as many units as Ferrari per year.
The company has apparently been working on the basis that it would eventually float ever since former CEO Ulrich Bez said an IPO would be a natural exit for the company. Andy Palmer, who is the current CEO, has gone as far as to promise the company will look into Aston Martin’s classic product, top of the range supercars, as it positions itself for its float. The company has recently broadened out to a range of handbags, a majestic powerboat and may move into the 4x4 market that has proved successful for rival luxury car manufacturers.
However, despite these changes, the private equity firm Investindustrial, which has a controlling stake in Aston Martin, has claimed that it is 'not working on an IPO'.
'Banks often come to us and our partners to pitch ideas to position themselves for potential future mandates,' a spokeswoman for the firm said. 'Any future decision regarding an IPO will be a matter for shareholders and Aston Martin’s board.'
Stay tuned; this rumour is still revving up.