ST ATHAN, Wales -- Aston Martin, which was reported this week to be the target of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, said it was not actively pursuing new investors as it opened a new factory here on Friday to build its first SUV, the DBX.
Autocar magazine reported on Thursday that Stroll, the owner of Formula One team Racing Point, is preparing to buy a major stake in Aston.
"You know what we would have to do if there was an official approach. Beyond that, I can't comment," Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told Reuters at the factory opening, referring to rules governing publicly-listed companies.
"We are certainly not actively soliciting any other participation. That's not to say it doesn't come," he said when asked whether Aston needed a new investor.
The British automaker's new factory in south Wales holds the key to ending a poor performance from Aston, which posted a pre-tax loss of 92.3 million pounds ($118 million) for the first nine months due to weaker-than-expected demand for its sports cars, particularly in Europe.
As the autos sector consolidates through deals such as the planned merger of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Aston has said it does not need to belong to a bigger automotive group, pointing to the success of stand-alone rival Ferrari.
The Kuwait-based Adeem/Primewagon shareholding group owns a 36 percent stake in Aston Martin, while Italy-based InvestIndustrial has 31 percent. Daimler has a 4 percent shareholding. The rest is publicly held.
Palmer said Aston Martin's two major shareholders are in it for the long term.
He said the small stake held by Daimler allows Aston to have access to technology and benefit from the speed at which it can operate independently.
Aston hopes its new factory, in St Athan, near Cardiff, will help turn around its fortunes. The plant is its second alongside its historic one in Gaydon, central England.