Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin’s chairman, has defended a decision to tap investors to build a new GBP200m Formula One (F1) headquarters near Silverstone.
Funding will come from a retail bond to be offered to employees and fans as well as investors, which Stroll said offers then a chance to have an ownership stake in an iconic British racing brand.
“It gives them an opportunity to say I’m part of this team financially. So it was a goodwill gesture to say: ‘here’s what we’re doing to make you feel included.”
Plans for the new factory were unveiled last month, but having originally planned to use private funding Stroll said he had looked at the options available and saw an LSE-listed retail bond as a fantastic opportunity.
Aston Martin’s F1 team is in effect Stroll’s own team Racing Point, which bought Force India team out of administration in 2018 for a figure just shy of GBP100m.
Racing Point changed its name again, to Aston Martin, for the 2021 season after Stroll took an interest in London Stock Exchange listed Aston Martin Lagonda and subsequently became executive chairman.
Stroll reassured investors he would not allow Aston Martin F1 to follow a similar path to Force India.
“[Force India] did not have my level of financial backing, did not have my level of vision, did not have my track record of success at everything I’ve done… maybe [they] shouldn’t have been in the business to begin with.” Stroll told the Telegraph.
Stroll added that his “big bank balance” is enough to reassure investors their investments are safe.
Aston Martin’s new base is set to be completed in 2023 which will include F1’s first new wind tunnel since 2004.
The Canadian billionaire has approximately one third ($1bn) of his net wealth tied up in Aston Martin Lagonda, giving him a 25% stake in the British car giant.
After years of losses, AML is set for a strong financial year say analysts, largely attributable to the success of its new sports utility vehicle (SUV).
The listed sports car company received an economic interest in the F1 racing team, which is the entity that’s issuing the retail bond.