Aston Martin considers float as soon as 2018

Aston Martin may consider an initial public offering by next year as the maker of James Bond’s cars seeks to capitalise on the success of Ferrari’s listing to lure investors, according to sources.

The century-old carmaker, whose owners include Investindustrial, could list in London. The company is waiting to report 2017 financial results before choosing advisers for a formal process.

No final decisions have been made, and the company could postpone the plans, the sources said. Aston Martin’s management “are 100% focused on the delivery of our seven-year business plan,” Simon Sproule, a company spokesman said.

“Any matters pertaining to the future structure or ownership of the company are a matter for our shareholders.” Investindustrial is “not working on an IPO. Banks often come to us and our partners to pitch ideas to position themselves for potential future mandates,” a spokeswoman for the Italian private-equity firm said.

“Any future decision regarding an IPO will be a matter for shareholders and Aston Martin’s board.”

The luxury-car manufacturer could aim for a valuation similar to Ferrari, which was listed in New York in 2015. Ferrari’s shares have risen about 62% since its IPO and trade at about 14 times estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for 2017.

That multiple would value Aston Martin up to €2.7bn. Still, while Aston Martin sells similar vehicles, the manufacturer lacks the global cache of Ferrari, which has been labelled the world’s most powerful auto brand by consultancy Brand Finance.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin doesn’t appear in the marketing researcher’s list of the top 500 global brands.

Aston Martin sells about 4,000 cars a year, fewer than half of Ferrari’s deliveries. The company has been considering an IPO since at least 2011.

Current CEO Andy Palmer has pledged to venture beyond the carmaker’s staple offering of high-end sports cars as it positions itself for a listing. n Bloomberg


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