Could Aston Martin F1 plans be scuttled?

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer has strong F1 plans. An IPO could help pay for them.
Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer has strong F1 plans. An IPO could help pay for them. Or new owners can say F1 is a waste of money.

Aston Martin's owners have hired investment bank Lazard to prepare for a stock market listing or sale of the British sports-car maker, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Italian private equity fund Investindustrial and a group of Kuwaiti investors, who together own more than 90 percent of the marque, are hoping to cash in on a recovery in sales and are in the initial stages of a strategic review.

They have hired Lazard to work on a preliminary plan and could either opt for an initial public offering (IPO) in the third or fourth quarter of 2018 or a trade sale, two of the sources said on Friday.

A deal could value Aston Martin at between 2 billion ($2.6 billion) and 3 billion pounds ($4 billion), one of the sources said, adding a listing was the most likely option. However, no final decision had been taken and the investors could decide to retain control, the sources added.

Investindustrial declined to comment while Aston Martin and Lazard did not return requests for comment. Adeem Investment, one of the Kuwaiti investors, was not immediately available.

If successful, a float of Aston Martin would be a milestone deal for the 104-year-old car manufacturer and would follow the IPO of Ferrari. Autonews/Reuters

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