Stroll: New backers, including Wolff, underpin Aston faith
Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll says the faith shown in the company by investors – including Mercedes boss Toto Wolff - has given him confidence that the British sportscar manufacturer can succeed as a business and in its Formula 1 effort.
Aston Martin confirmed on Friday that a rights issue to help raise funds, which was completed on Monday morning, included investment from the ErsteAM Ltd company that is controlled by Wolff.
Wolff's stake was originally for 4.77% of Aston Martin shares, but following the rights issue that has now been diluted to be worth 0.95%.
It has been made clear that Wolff's decision to invest in Aston Martin has been done on a personal basis, and with the blessing of Daimler, which is also a shareholder in the car company. Wolff also remains committed to his future at Mercedes.
Speaking on Monday as Aston Martin's share price showed a brief recovery from recent falls, executive chairman Stroll said the success of the rights issue had left him incredibly bullish about the future.
"Our ambition for the company is significant, clear and only matched by our determination to succeed," he said. "The rights issue and the investment that I, and my co-investors in the consortium, have made has underpinned the financial security of, and our confidence in, the business.
"We can now focus on the engineering and marketing programmes that will enable Aston Martin to become one of the pre-eminent luxury car brands in the world."
With Aston Martin's car production being put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Stroll said the next few months would be about rebuilding the business.
But he was confident that by 2021 things would be much better and its Aston works F1 team would arrive on the grid as a 'highly competitive' team.
"In this first year we will reset the business," he explained, with the initial focus being on starting production of its new SUV, the DBX.
He added: "In the months ahead, as the world starts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will start to reinvigorate our marketing initiatives to continue to build our order book.
"In 2021, Aston Martin will take its place on the Formula 1 grid as a highly competitive works team for the first time in over 60 years. This will give us a significant global marketing platform to strengthen our brand and engage with our customers and partners across the world."
Stroll said the company was now considering the appointment of a number of non-executive directors.
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