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Aston Martin attracts controversial Saudi backing

Aston Martin attracts controversial Saudi backing

Aston Martin attracts controversial Saudi backing

Aston Martin attracts controversial Saudi backing

Aston Martin has taken on the controversial Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund [PIF] as its second major shareholder as the car manufacturer bids to bolster its floundering finances.

The company, overseen by Lawrence Stroll, announced debt of almost £1billion at the end of March, while its share price has plummeted, and the F1 team is enduring a torrid year on track despite significant investment.

PIF has hit the headlines recently, notably following its takeover of British Premier League club Newcastle United last year, a move which sparked protests from fans.

Significantly, PIF is behind LIV Golf, effectively a breakaway series to the PGA Tour and which has attracted many of the world's top players with vast sums of money.

PIF is to now acquire a 16.7 per cent stake in Aston Martin, becoming its second-largest shareholder behind Stroll's own Yew Tree Holdings company.

It will buy shares worth £78million, and will take part in a £575m rights issue as Aston seeks to reverse a slump which has seen its shares hit a record low this week, falling by 73 per cent over the year.

Confirming the plans, Stroll said: “Today’s announcement marks the latest success in the evolution of Aston Martin, the restoration of the business and balance sheet we inherited, and the acceleration of our long-term growth potential."

Referencing the continued importance of F1 in helping the manufacturer find a solid financial footing, Stroll added: “Aston Martin's return to the pinnacle of motorsport with the F1 team has also ushered in a new era for our iconic British brand.

“Our focus on building brand equity and unleashing the potential of Aston Martin is already delivering growing demand from a new generation of customers, with more than 60% new to the brand in 2021.”

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