Aston Martin has formally secured a deal with new investor Lawrence Stroll, and claims that it has the funding to weather the next 12 months, Autocar reports. The deal will see Canadian billionaire Stroll take over as executive chairman on April 20 and Aston Martin enter Formula One in 2021.

The deal brought Aston £536 million (RM2.86 billion) over a rights issue, plus an additional £150 million (RM798 million) will be made available for the automaker. This investment puts the DBX SUV into production at the new St Athan facility, which was temporarily shut last week over Covid-19 fears.

This is of course subject to any delays in the production chain, but the company says first customer deliveries are unaffected for now, and would be shipped by mid this year. The SUV is expected to make or break Aston Martin, so the next 12 months will be crucial.

Stroll’s investment from his Yew Tree consortium amounted to £262 million (RM1.39 billion), £171 million (RM909 million) of which came from the rights issue. This sum is over 30% more than Stroll’s initial offer of £200 million. The remainder of the cash came from existing company shareholders. Without this round of investment, Aston Martin said it would not have the funds to meet the 12-month investment period.

“I, and my co-investors in the consortium, continue to believe passionately in the future of Aston Martin Lagonda. This is most clearly demonstrated by our investment, which underpins the financial security of the company. This is a very significant capital raise of £536 million, due to be made by my consortium and other shareholders at a very challenging time,” Stroll said.

“This gives the necessary stability to reset the business for its long-term future. We have a clear plan to make this happen, including Aston Martin entering an F1 works team next season and I look forward to working with the management team to deliver this programme,” he added.

Aston Martin’s new hybrid V6 engine will make over 700 hp

According to CEO Andy Palmer, there were over 2,000 orders for the DBX, as well as strong early demand for the new Vantage Roadster. Besides that, it will continue developing the new hybrid V6 powertrain, as well as the Valhalla and Vanquish supercars. The Lagonda sub-brand of electric vehicles will come later.

Stroll, a billionaire with a net worth in excess of £2 billion (RM10.7 billion) and owner of Racing Point F1 Team (and father of F1 driver Lance Stroll), will replace outgoing chairman Penny Hughes. Stroll did not provide much details regarding Aston’s F1 venture, but it’s likely the Aston name will be used to replace his Racing Point team. Aston’s title sponsor Red Bull Racing ends this year, but the two parties remain committed to bring the co-developed Valkyrie hypercar into production this year.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Aston Martin will be furloughing some employees due to the Covid-19 upheaval. Both the automaker’s facilities in Gaydon and St Athan are currently closed and scheduled to reopen on April 20.

However, a new government scheme has been announced to help businesses whose operations have been hit by the virus. With that, employers in Britain can claim for 80% of wage costs for furloughed staffs, or up to £2,500 (RM13.3k). “(We are) utilising all government aid available,” the company said in a statement.