ASTON Martin failed to pull away on its debut in the London Stock Exchange yesterday, with shares slipping from £19 to £18.10 at the close of trading.
The drop, while not the best news for investors, was within the range anticipated by Aston Martin, with the spread pitched at between £17.50 and £22.50. The company was valued at £4.1bn after dealings ended.
Andy Palmer, the former Nissan chief who joined Aston as chief executive in 2014 and steered the company towards its first profit in eight years earlier this year, said it’s too earlier tell how well the shares will perform.
He told The Times: “Aston Martin is a long-term growth story and we wanted investors during the book-building who were hankering for the long-term. I don’t think you can judge the stock of Aston Martin Lagonda on one day’s trading. There’s been some ups and downs, but in the end it hasn’t been so bad.”
Aston issued the equivalent of 25% of the company’s shares, raising more than £1bn for its shareholders which include Kuwaiti sovereign wealth funds and Investindustrial, the Italian-American private equity house, which continue to hold 70% of the business. Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, which sells engines and electronics to Aston Martin, owns 5% of the company. Palmer has a personal stake in the company worth £23m.
The luxury sports car brand is the first car maker to be listed on the London market since Jaguar left in 1990, after it was taken over by Ford. In addition to road cars, the company is bringing to market a luxury submersible and exploring flying car concepts.