ASTON Martin Lagonda Global Holdings is negotiating with bankers to address a looming debt pile, according to executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, with the company’s near-term liabilities amounting to roughly US$1.4 billion.
The loss-making British luxury carmaker is seeking to refinance at a tumultuous time in debt markets following the surge in interest rates and uncertainty around rate cuts. Talks are set to focus on a US$1.1 billion bond that’s maturing in November next year, with a 10.5 per cent coupon that puts the company on the hook for payments of US$120 million annually.
“We are currently studying with our bankers the most appropriate actions of how to deal with it,” Stroll said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Obviously it will be addressed in the most appropriate manner possible and in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.”
The company has a revolving credit facility of £79 million (S$134 million) that’s due next year and a US$121 million note to be repaid in 2026, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
The Canadian billionaire in 2020 rescued the manufacturer, whose sports cars have featured in the James Bond movie franchise. The turnaround of the business has seen Aston Martin repeatedly raise money and bring in new shareholders such as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and electric vehicle maker Lucid Group.
The company warned in November that it expects to ship fewer vehicles than previously forecast for the full year, after supply-chain issues hampered the rollout of its new DB12 sports car. It is set to report full-year earnings on Feb 28.
Asked about analyst comments that Aston Martin could be vulnerable to a takeover bid from its new holders, Stroll said the company was “not in any M&A territory”.
The textiles tycoon, who made his money investing in fashion labels including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, said he planned to remain at the company for years to come. The turnaround job was only at the start, he said, a push he previously admitted was more challenging than expected.
“Lawrence intends to be here for many, many years,” Stroll said.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Aston Martin was sounding out potential candidates to become its fourth chief executive officer in as many years. The current chief, former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa, 77, has been in the role for less than two years. Stroll declined to comment on the report.
The Gaydon, England-based company earlier on Monday (Feb 12) revealed its new Vantage sports car, part of its effort to launch new models more frequently than the company has done in the past. Stroll is also hoping to capitalise on the growing interest in Formula One, having returned to the competition in 2021.
Late last year, he sold off a minority stake in the team that’s separate from the listed company to US private equity firm Arctos Partners at a valuation of around £1 billion. BLOOMBERG