Saudi Arabia Sovereign Wealth Fund Set To Become No 2 Shareholder of Aston Martin

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The Saudi sovereign wealth fund will acquire a 17% stake in British luxury automaker Aston Martin and become the company's second largest shareholder behind Chairman Lawrence Stroll's Yew Tree.
As a result of the share purchase, the wealth fund will be entitled to two seats on the board of the company and Aston Martin will receive a much needed injection of cash to reduce debt and fund its business.

German automaker Mercedes-Benz AG will now be the third largest shareholder with a 9.7% stake in the company, but was looking to increase its holding to 20% this year, according to Reuters.

Aston Martin stock has taken a beating since its initial public offering in late 2018. London-listed shares jumped up 10% on the Saudi news after falling 73% this year.

The Aston Martin backed Formula One Team led by Stroll has not faired well on the racing circuit. The team, headquartered in Silverstone, has struggled in recent years competing with the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull. Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll (son of the Chairman) have just 15 points and three points, respectively, in eleven races thus far in 2022.

The Saudi sovereign fund for its part, has been in the news lately with the start of the LIV Golf Tour. Their involvement in professional golf has drawn criticism throughout the world because of their suspected involvement in the killing of reporter Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The fund-backed league has splintered the legacy PGA Tour with players joining LIV on the lure of guaranteed and upfront money.

One can only guess how they might influence Formula One based on their deep pockets and willingness to spend what ever it takes to wield influence. Formula One would seem an easy target, but owning and operating a team for a full race schedule is tremendously expensive.
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