Aston Martin calls board meeting to decide on fundraising

FILE PHOTO: The new Aston Martin Lagonda factory is seen in Saint Athan, Wales, Britain December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/File Photo

(Reuters) - British luxury carmaker Aston Martin AML.L will hold a board meeting on Thursday to decide whether to raise funds through the sale of a strategic stake, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Famed for being fictional secret agent James Bond’s car of choice, the 107-year old company’s share price has plummeted since floating in October 2018 and it has come late to the lucrative sport utility vehicle market which boosted rivals.

The Financial Times reported that Chinese carmaker Geely 0175.HK and Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll are each offering to invest around 200 million pounds ($263 million) in return for 20% of the firm and a place on the board, adding that Aston could make an announcement as soon as Friday.

A spokesman for Aston Martin declined to comment, referring to remarks made this month that it is holding discussions with potential strategic investors “which may or may not involve any equity investment into the company”.

A source told Reuters this month that the Chinese carmaker was in talks with Aston about taking a stake, eyeing potential savings on technologies and vehicle platforms with integration between Aston and its own Lotus brand.

Carmakers of all sizes are using alliances, partnerships, mergers and equity stakes to share the cost and challenge of meeting new emissions regulations, electrifying model ranges and competing on new technologies such as autonomous driving.

Reporting by Costas Pitas in London and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith