Gaydon, Warwickshire - Aston Martin is targeting the super-rich with apartments, submarines and speedboats as it prepares for a blockbuster £5 billion (R95 billion) stock market float.
The 115-year-old business set out its plans to go public amid record profits and an audacious bid to dominate the luxury market, giving investors the chance to own a slice of a British car company for the first time since Jaguar was bought by Ford and left the stock market in 1990.
Chief executive Andy Palmer believes the 115-year-old brand can be more than just a car maker. It launched a 37ft powerboat two years ago, and teamed up with Triton Submarines in 2017 to make a luxury underwater vehicle, codenamed Project Neptune, for millionaire playboys.
At its showroom in Mayfair, Aston Martin sells luxury goods including a picnic hamper for £1950 (R36 800) and a wash bag for £149 (R2800) alongside cars. The company is also behind a 65-storey skyscraper in Miami with apartments for sale at up to £38 million (R717 million) each, and it has even come up with a concept for a pilotless plane.
Palmer said: "We’re a luxury company, we’re not just a car company, and you have to see us in that context. Those lucky high net worth individuals who can afford our cars can also afford the lifestyle that goes around them. Believe me, those kinds of people want boats by Aston Martin, submarines by Aston Martin, and they want apartments by Aston Martin."
Ordinary savers will not be allowed to take part in the stock market listing, with shares being offered to City institutions, staff and customers. Instead, they will have to wait until after trading has begun on the stock market in London to buy the shares.
Aston Martin sold 2299 cars in the first six months of 2018, generating sales income of £444.9 million (R8.4 billion), while profits climbed 2.5 percent year-on-year to an all-time high of £20.8 million (R393 million). The company hopes to sell a 25 percent stake for £1.25 billion (R23.6 billion), which would value it at £5 billion. Owners Investindustrial in Italy and Kuwaiti fund Investment Dar will sell part of their stakes, and Daimler will retain a holding.
Laith Khalaf of investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown said: "While we’re disappointed there isn’t a retail offering, private investors will be able to buy shares on the secondary market. This allows investors to buy into a little of the glamour of Aston Martin, without getting a second mortgage."