The luxury car maker from U.K, Aston Martin has reportedly extended a deal with Ford Motor to continue supplying its engines. According to reports, the engine-supply agreement had been due to expire in 2012, but Chief Executive Ulrich Bez was quoted as saying that Aston Martin had exercised an option to extend it for four years until 2016.
The reports stated that the pact for the supply of engines from a plant in Cologne, Germany, guarantees continuity for Aston Martin, which was sold by Ford in 2007 to a consortium led by two Kuwait-based investment companies, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co., for $848 million. Ford retained a $77 million stake, but Aston Martin last month raised GBP304 million in a bond issue, and part of the proceeds will be used to buy the Dearborn, Mich., auto maker's 40 million preference shares, or preferred stock.
According to reports, Bez said "There is a long-term desire among shareholders for an IPO and such a move would follow the strategy of private-equity investors.’’ He added that the existing shareholders wouldn't "disappear" following a flotation. Advisers for an IPO hadn't been appointed. "We do not need any additional equity to deliver what we have set out," added Chief Financial Officer Hanno Kirner, according to reports.
It was mentioned that Aston Martin built 4,156 cars in 2010, up from 3,131 in 2009 but still below its peak of 7,281 in 2007. It remained profitable during the downturn and reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of GBP93 million last year. Aston Martin sees plenty of opportunities for growth, particularly in emerging markets like China. "We are very late to the market in China," said Bez, but the company expects to receive an import license imminently and will ramp up the number of its dealerships there in the next two years, according to reports.