Aston Martin raising £575.8m in rights issue

ASTON Martin is raising £575.8 million (S$929.9 million) in a rights issue as major investors including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund keep faith with the struggling luxury British carmaker.

The 109 year-old company said on Monday (Sep 5) it would issue 4 new shares at 103 pence apiece for every existing share. At 0750 GMT, the stock was down 10 per cent at 432.9 pence.

The rights issue is part of a previously announced equity raising of £653.8 million, which makes Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) 1 of the company's largest shareholders.

Aston Martin said the rights issue was fully committed and underwritten, with support from PIF, as well as chairman Lawrence Stroll's Yew Tree and Mercedes Benz.

The fundraising will allow the company to lower its debt and invest in new models, it has said.

The Formula One racing team owner has been burning through cash and has been hit by supply chain snags. It posted a tripling of pretax half-year losses in July.

The company rejected a £1.3 billion investment proposal that would have handed control of the business to Italian investor Investindustrial and Chinese carmaker Geely that month.

"Aston Martin's fundamentals remain shaky with or without the capital raise," said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at interactive investor, pointing to the first-half problems.

She said a recent slump in the pound could encourage interest from a foreign buyer. REUTERS

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