Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Aston Martin IPO

A football team too rich for your blood? Well, here is another "prestige" investment option. Looks like there will be an opportunity to own a part of a newly floated Aston Martin. According to the Sunday Times, Investment Dar the Kuwaiti owners of Aston Martin Motor Cars are looking for ways to inject capital into the company.

Personally, I have always followed two important investment tips: never invest in airlines and never invest in car companies. However, this is not your dad's FoMoCo. While no financials are publically available, the company has introduced several new models and the engineering joint venture with Daimler is certainly intriguing.

The Aston Martin Review would be very interested to see the valuation being proposed when the offering sheet is put together. My guess is that this will go down as a limited private offering and people will overpay to be a part of the Aston Martin brand. Good news for Investment Dar and also for the Brand in general since it will be able to raise capital for future growth. What do you think?

Aston Martin seeks backers
Ben Marlow
235 words
9 January 2011
The Sunday Times

ASTON MARTIN is poised to begin a search for wealthy new backers as its owners prepare the British luxury carmaker for a stock market flotation.

The Middle Eastern consortium that owns Aston Martin — made famous in the 1960s as James Bond's favourite car — wants to raise several hundred million pounds to help to bankroll an expansion of the sports car manufacturer.

Investment Dar, the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund that bought Aston Martin four years ago from Ford, has been expanding the model range of the classic car and is keen to add a collection of branded luxury goods.

Rich investors are likely to fall over themselves to inject money into the Warwickshire manufacturer. When Investment Dar bought Aston Martin, it fought off competition from several billionaire individuals as well as some of the world's biggest private equity firms.

The Kuwaitis are expected to appoint an investment bank in the coming weeks to identify options for attracting new backers. This could include selling shares or raising debt through a bond.

Under the Kuwaitis, Aston Martin has launched several models, including the fourdoor Rapide. In the three months to September 2010, 304 Aston Martins were registered in Britain, up 31% from the previous three months. The chief executive Ulrich Bez is pinning his hopes on the launch of the low-emission Cygnet minicar, similar to a Smart car.

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