Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd intends to float on the London Stock Exchange, completing a turnaround after new models and a surge in volumes helped the iconic brand return to profitability following years of losses.
If successful it would become the first British-based carmaker to be listed in London for years, following the sale of such names as Jaguar, Bentley and Rolls-Royce to foreign owners.
The initial public offering, which will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ferrari, could see the firm valued at up to ￡5 billion (US$6.38 billion), sources have said.
Aston Martin said it had filed a Registration Document with Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, which is a requirement of firms considering an initial public offering.
Pending a final decision, a prospectus us to be published on or around Sept. 20.
Aston Martin chief executive officer Andy Palmer said that he hoped the flotation would be completed by the end of the year, which would coincide with when Britain hopes to have agreed on a Brexit deal with the EU.
Aston Martin sells about 25 percent of its cars to the EU and operates its only plant in Britain with a second one due to begin operations next year.
However, Palmer said he did not think even a bad Brexit deal involving tariffs would have a big impact on the firm.
“We can demonstrate that Brexit is not a major effect for us,” he said.
“If there is a tariff into Europe, it’s countered by a tariff into the UK for our competitors, so you might lose a little bit of market share in the EU, but you pick it up in the UK,” he said.
The plan will involve a secondary sell-down by existing shareholders, mainly Kuwaiti and Italian private equity groups, with a free float of at least 25 percent.
The firm intends to apply for a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, with employees and customers able to apply to purchase shares.
Aston Martin, which spent years losing money, last year turned its first profit since 2010 and on Wednesday posted half-year adjusted pre-tax profits of ￡42 million, as revenues rose 8 percent to ￡445 million due to strong demand for its DB11 coupe and Volante models.
The company said it expected full-year output to rise to between 6,200 and 6,400 units, and nearly 10,000 in 2020.
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