Aston Martin has been holding preliminary talks with financial advisers about a potential initial public offering of the British premium automotive brand. The manufacturer is said to be targeting valuation of up to GBP 5 billion, and would naturally choose London to float its shares. The valuation is only a preliminary estimate, and no final decision has been made regarding potential financial advisers.
The likelihood of Aston Martin going public is judged to be high by observers however, and would follow in the footsteps of Ferrari NV, which had a very successful IPO in New York in 2015. The British sports car maker, in what has been identified as a full recovery from the crisis point of 2008, crossed the milestone of 5,000 annual deliveries in 2017, equalling its pre-crisis best. Furthermore, the company is targeting, always for 2017, a revenue of GBP 840 million, and an adjusted EBITDA of GBP 180 million. Final data should be available shortly, and should comfortably exceed its forward guidance for the year.
The flotation would cement the recovery of the iconic brand, which bears a long time association with the James Bond film franchise. The manufacturer already has expansion plans in place for 2018, with a new factory in Wales preparing to build the upcoming DBX SUV, with a much anticipated expansion into the sports utility vehicle segment, and another new model, the $150,000 Vantage, already with full orders for the year. Observers have also indicated that group sales may increase by about 60% to 8,250 vehicles by 2020. Following the outbreak of the news, the price of the company’s bonds, with maturity in 2022, rose by 0.22 pence to 105.86 pence last week.
The announcement of a possible public offering of the British car maker has been greeted as good news by stock market observers, and a successful flotation could represent a significant marker of investor confidence in the British economy in view of Britain’s planned departure from the European Union in March 2019.