Luxury Icon and 007 Favorite Tunes Up for IPO

Aston Martin, the maker of the famed sports car favored by secret agent 007, was expected to announce as early as Wednesday plans for a stock-market listing later this year that would value the company at more than $6 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
 The British sports-car brand intends to list about £1 billion ($1.29 billion) of shares on the London Stock Exchange, the people said.
 A listing of Aston Martin this year would be the first offering of a popular sports-car brand since Flat Chrysler Automobiles NV sold roughly 9% of Ferrari at an offering price of $52 a share in October 2015. Ferrari NV's shares rose 1.4% to $130.04 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
 One of the most colorful and iconic brands among sports-car aficionados, Aston Martin was known to a wider audience as the ride of choice in James Bond movies including the 1960s films “Goldfinger” and “On Her Majesty's Secret Service” and the latest Bond sequel, “Spectre.”
 In “Spectre,” Bond hijacks a modern Aston Martin DB10 model intended for another agent. The movie version of the silver racer, an updated version of the original DB5 that appeared in “Goldfinger,” starring Sean Connery, is equipped with features any secret agent would desire — a rear-facing, twin-barreled gun and flamethrower, as well as the obligatory ejection seat with parachute. In true Bond fashion, 007 drives the car off the road straight into Italy's Tiber River at the end of a highspeed chase, where it sinks.
 Existing shareholders at Aston Martin, mainly Italian and Kuwaiti investors, will be hoping that some of 007's mojo will rub off on the shares. The company is aiming to generate as much as £5 billion through the offering, the people familiar with the matter said, reflecting the top end of the offer's expected price range.
 In May, the company posted a 3% increase in first-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to £43.7 million on sales revenue of £185.4 million.  

— William Boston and Ben Dummett


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