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Daimler holds they keys to any future Aston Martin deals

Shares in Aston Martin Lagonda have lost more than half their value since they listed on the London Stock Exchange last October, triggering speculation that the luxury car maker could make an attractive takeover target.

Andy Palmer, Aston’s chief executive, recently told an industry conference that the billions in investment needed to develop connected and autonomous vehicles would force existing brands to merge or sell to rivals to survive.

The trouble is, any potential acquirer of Aston AML, -1.32% will need Daimler’s permission, or the independent British car maker could lose its prestigious Mercedes-AMG engines.

Daimler DAI, +0.58% , which owns Mercedes, struck a deal in 2013 to receive 5% of nonvoting shares in Aston Martin in exchange for supplying its next generation of cars with its high-performance engines and electronic components, including the infotainment system.

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