Reports of Aston Martin attempting to go public by filing an initial public offering (IPO) date back as far as the brand’s sale by Ford in 2008 to a consortium led by Prodrive founder David Richards.
Aston Martin is now in the midst of a massive expansion plan that calls for seven cars in seven years—the first two are the DB11 and redesigned Vantage—and reports of a possible IPO have flared up again.
People familiar with the matter have revealed to that Aston Martin’s current owners, Italy’s Investindustrial and Kuwait’s Adeem Investment and The Investment Dar, have hired financial firm Lazard to prepare an IPO or possible sale of the company.
A deal could value Aston Martin at up to $4 billion, one of the sources said, adding that a share listing was the most likely option. The source also said that the deal could be completed by the third or fourth quarter of 2018.
The move would follow Ferrari’s IPO in late 2015. The Italian firm listed with a share price of $52, valuing it at the time at approximately $9.8 billion.
Aston Martin is currently in the best financial shape in its 100-plus-year history. The company recently reported four consecutive quarters of profitability for the first time since it was sold by Ford, and the company’s latest model, the Vantage, is almost completely sold out for the first year of production.
Aston Martin is also just a few years out from opening a second plant and building higher volume models like an SUV and a pair of sedans. The company is also on the verge of launching electric cars, the first of which will be the electric RapidE due in 2019.
According to , CEO Andy Palmer has said the timing for any sale was up to the shareholders but that it made sense for them to consider the option before 2022, when the last of Aston Martin’s seven new models is due.