Tycoon Lawrence Stroll is preparing a bid to buy a major stake in Aston Martin, according to a joint investigation by Autocar and RaceFans.net. Yup, that’s the father of F1 driver Lance and owner of the Racing Point F1 team, and he’s estimated to be worth in excess of £2 billion (RM11 billion).

Stroll is said to have made his money investing and building up fashion brands including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Asprey. He is also famed for his Ferrari collection, which many regard as the most valuable collection of classic Ferraris in the world.

According to Autocar, both Stroll’s business interests and car collection are reported to have given him the contacts to head a consortium looking to take control of the British carmaker, in the belief they can take advantage of its current low stock price and lower than expected sales. The plan is to build the brand up, fuelled by sales of the recently launched Aston Martin DBX SUV.

As of last week, Aston Martin’s share price was around £5 (RM27.40), up from a low of just above £4 but well below its high of around £17 (RM93). The price has tumbled 75% this year on weaker-than-expected sales – AM made a pre-tax loss of 92.3 million pounds (RM505.1 million) for the first nine months of the year.

The company was floated in October 2018. Currently, the biggest shareholder is Strategic European Investment Group – part of the Italian private equity group Investindustrial – which holds around a one-third of shares. The Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon group is also a major stakeholder. Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz and engine supplier to Stroll’s Racing Point F1 team, owns 4% of the firm.

There’s probably no formal takeover bid yet, as Aston is bound by strict regulations when it comes to official announcements regarding the stock market, and would be forced to confirm such a bid.

“You know what we would have to do if there was an official approach. Beyond that, I can’t comment. We’re certainly not actively soliciting any other participation. That’s not to say it doesn’t come,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told Reuters when asked whether his company needed a new investor.

The Gaydon carmaker has just opened a second plant in St Athan, near Cardiff in Wales. The new factory will produce the DBX, its first foray into the luxury SUV market.

Built on a dedicated platform utilising a bonded aluminium construction that has been made famous in Aston’s sports cars, the DBX is powered by AMG’s proven M177 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8. Here, it makes 550 PS and 700 Nm of torque, and features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Linked to Mercedes’ nine-speed 9G-Tronic auto, the DBX does 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 291 km/h. Full details here.

GALLERY: Aston Martin DBX