Canadian Billionaire Lawrence Buys 20% Stakes in Aston Martin

Canada-based billionaire Lawrence Stroll has agreed to buy as much as 20% of Aston Martin and rename his Formula One group after the 107-year-old firm noted for being fictional secret agent James Bond’s automobile of choice.

A drop in sales of Aston Martin’s luxury sports cars since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in October 2018 has put the carmaker’s shares and funds under sustained pressure, forcing it to seek support.

Under the agreement introduced Friday, Stroll will pay 182 million pounds for a 16.7% stake, which might grow to 20% upon completion of the carmaker’s plan to raise a total of 500 million pounds.

Aston Martin shares soared up to 30% after the declaration and had been 18% greater at 1038 GMT.

The brand, which is majorly owned by Italian and Kuwaiti private equity groups, has come late to the lucrative sports-utility vehicle segment and has struggled to keep up with competitors controlled by major international car manufacturers.

Aston Martin had further had discussions with Chinese car manufacturer Geely, which builds Volvos. Still, it wanted to instigate more fundamental change than the plan drawn Friday, an individual aware of the discussions said.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer stated the alliance headed by Stroll, who is behind the Racing Point F1 team and controls a fleet of classic Ferraris, will bring a number of benefits.

Stroll will become part of Aston Martin’s board as executive chairperson, succeeding Penny Hughes.

Under Friday’s deal, Racing Level will become the Aston Martin F1 works team from the 2021 season. Stroll’s 21-year-old son Lance joined Mercedes-powered Racing Point in 2018 from Williams and has Mexican Sergio Perez as a teammate.

Stroll, who made his money via investing in fashion brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors, has been involved in Formula One and motor racing for years and further controls Canada’s Mont-Tremblant circuit in Quebec.