Wednesday 29, August 2018 by Bloomberg

Aston Martin makes long-awaited move to sell shares in London


James Bond’s favourite car may be about to take a spin through London’s financial district.

Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd., the British maker of sports cars in movies from “Goldfinger” to “Skyfall,” is considering an initial public offering in London. The move, made possible by a turnaround under Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer, would test investor optimism in the country’s post-Brexit automotive industry.

The company on Wednesday will file a registration document with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, a new requirement for companies considering an IPO, and will decide by about 20 September whether to proceed, it said in an e-mailed statement. Aston Martin’s first-half revenue rose eight per cent to GBP 445 million, helped by demand for the DB11 coupe and the DB11 Volante, the company said. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation climbed 14 per cent.

The plan cements the iconic brand’s comeback under Palmer, a former executive at Nissan Motor Co. who took over the top job at Aston Martin in 2014. The CEO has focused on introducing new models like the coming DBX sports utility vehicle due next year and the popular $200,000 DB11, while lifting production rates to the highest level since the 2008 financial crash.

“Today’s announcement represents a key milestone in the history of the company, which is reporting strong financial results and increased global demand for its award-winning sports cars,” Palmer said in the statement.

The company is controlled by Investindustrial Advisors Ltd. and Kuwaiti Investment Dar. Existing investors will sell shares in the IPO, leading to about 25 per cent of the company’s stock trading on the London Stock Exchange, the company said.

Neither investor plans to exit completely and a share sale would be aimed at realizing value rather than raising cash for expansion, Palmer said in a June interview.

Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs International and J.P. Morgan Securities Plc are arranging the sale. Lazard is financial adviser to the company.

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