Aston Martin looks set to miss out on a spot in the FTSE 100 after the luxury carmaker cut the maximum valuation it is seeking in its initial public offering this week.
The carmaker on Monday reduced the top of its price range from £22.50 a share to £20. It also lifted the bottom end of the range from £17.50 to £18.50. All of the books are covered within the new range.
The new range gives the group an expected valuation of between £4.2bn and £4.5bn, compared with £4bn and £5.1bn previously. At that value, it would potentially miss out on a place in the FTSE 100 at the next reshuffle of the index in December — if its value and that of the other index constituents remain broadly the same. The current value of the bottom of the index is about £4.7bn.
Aston’s entry on to the London stock market — the shares are due to begin trading on Wednesday — marks the revival of the James Bond car manufacturer, which despite its illustrious brand has been bankrupt seven times in its century-long history.
In the first half of the year it reported pre-tax profits of £20.8m, with revenues of £449.9m. Operating profits rose 14 per cent to £106m.
The carmaker has sought to liken itself to Ferrari, seeking a valuation suitable for luxury goods companies rather than traditional car manufacturers.
It plans to raise operating margins, currently at 24 per cent, to close in on Ferrari’s 32 per cent through the release of a sport utility vehicle and entering new segments, such as a mid-engine sports car.
At the top end of the new range, Aston would trade on 19 times earnings, compared to about 22 times for Ferrari.
Analysts at Evercore said they were “surprised by the positive impression” among potential investors in New York last week.
“Appetite feels good with CEO cited as core asset,” they wrote in a note on Monday.
Andy Palmer, Aston’s chief executive, joined the group from Nissan in 2014 with the aim of turning round the business.
Under his tenure the company has crafted a strategy to release a new car every year, push into new segments with its SUV and mid-engine models, and revive the Lagonda brand as a fully electric rival to Rolls-Royce or Bentley.
Mr Palmer is viewed by shareholders as an important asset to the business, with an incentive plan put in place on his arrival set to pay out about £22m in Aston shares by 2022.
Ahead of its listing Aston has begun building an independent board, appointing Penny Hughes, a former RBS board member who has significant branding experience from her tenure at Coca-Cola, as chair.
About 25 per cent of Aston’s shares will be sold by its existing owners, Italian fund Investindustrial and a number of Kuwaiti shareholders.
Daimler, the Mercedes-Benz owner that has a technology-sharing agreement with Aston and supplies it with V8 engines and electronics, will maintain its 4.9 per cent stake.
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