Evening Standard/Aston Martin

D ebt-ridden After disclosing the specifics of a rights issue with the goal of bolstering its finances to the tune of £576 million, the British automobile manufacturer Aston Martin has enlisted the assistance of Mercedes and the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.

As part of the agreement, Mercedes has committed to investing £56 million, and the Saudi-run Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, has taken up its full entitlement under the rights issue. It is understood that the Saudi-run Public Investment Fund will become the firm's second largest shareholder as a result of this transaction.

After taking over Newcastle United Football Club in the previous year, the fund became the subject of controversy as a result of fan protests against the human rights record of Saudi Arabia.

Aston Martin, a brand that is well known for its appearances in James Bond films, announced that it will use the funds raised to reduce its debt and invest in the development of a new line of electric sports cars.

Earlier this year, there was suspicion that the severely indebted corporation was having difficulty raising funding on credit markets. This speculation led to rumors that the company might use the issuance of fresh equity in order to raise funds.

Its shares, which have been struggling ever since the business was first brought to market in 2018, took a significant hit when the first news of the rights offer were released, and then took another hit today as more information surfaced. Aston will issue 559 million new shares as a result of the rights issue. The company will sell four new shares for every one existing share at a price of 103 pence, which represents a discount of 79% in comparison to Friday's closing price.

On Monday in London, the price of the stock was reduced to 427p, a drop of more than 11%. The initial price of the shares on the market was 1900p.

"The automobile maker has been a flop since joining the stock market, and one has to ask if it would be better off as a privately-owned company," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Despite the fact that Aston's order books have been healthy and several marques have sold out, issues with the company's supply chain have caused delivery delays for its legendary sports vehicles. The creation of an electric vehicle also resulted in a loss of capital due to the significant costs associated with research and development.


Orizu Ebube

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