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Chinese megacorp Geely has doubled its stake in Aston Martin

Zhejiang Geely Holding increases stake to 17 per cent in Aston and gets a board seat

Published: 22 May 2023

Geely has become the third largest shareholder in Aston Martin Lagonda. After getting a foot in the door in September 2022, the Chinese megacorp has upped its stake from 7.6 to 17 per cent. 

Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll liquidated 42 million shares, worth £2.31 each, for a tidy £3.35 each. Stroll’s consortium Yew Tree also created a further 28 million shares at the same price. 

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That’s raised a very helpful £95 million for Aston, which is looking to reinvest, buy some stuff and pay off some of its debts – totalling some £868 million at the end of March, according to Reuters.

In exchange for all its money, access and know-how, Geely gets a seat on the board, too. Important because Geely - parent company of brands, such as Volvo, Lotus and Polestar - hasn't made a secret about its ambitions to own James Bond’s favourite car maker, whether in part or as a whole.

For now, however, Geely is limited to acquiring no more than 22 per cent of Aston before August 2024. It also has a stake in Mercedes-Benz... which also has a stake in AML, too. Hmm, interesting.

Stroll, who has pledged to 'deal with the debt' (previously reported by the Financial Times) said: "This announcement is a further significant step towards delivering our ambition for Aston Martin. Geely Holding, who initially became a shareholder last year, sees tremendous potential for Aston Martin's long-term growth and success.

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"They offer us a deep understanding of the key strategic growth market that China represents, as well as the opportunity to access their range of technologies and components. Geely share our vision for Aston Martin and want to be a more significant shareholder.

"This transaction enables the creation of a long-term partnership with Geely - a relationship that I believe will bring very significant value for all of our shareholders over time. It is a further example of how we are successfully building Aston Martin into the most desirable ultra-luxury British performance brand through a combination of our own product development, technology and design and also drawing on the skills and capabilities of major international companies that are both strategic partners and shareholders.

"We remain on track to deliver our strategic objectives and starting this month we will bring to market our new portfolio of game-changing sportscars. We remain the largest shareholders in the Company and continue to be confident that we will build a business of great value for all of our shareholders."

Eric Li, Geely Holding Group Chairman added: "Our decision to increase our shareholding in Aston Martin reflects our confidence in the company's growth prospects, its technologies and its management team. Since first acquiring our minority holding last September, we have worked collaboratively with Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll and his colleagues and now look forward to exploring joint technology synergies and new growth opportunities to help this iconic automotive brand achieve its full potential."

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