Aston Martin loses grip as sales slide

Comments Email

Rating agency Moody’s has downgraded Aston Martin. The luxury car making is heading towards ‘junk’ status, observers warned.

“The review was prompted by a significant deterioration in Aston Martin’s liquidity profile as per end September 2012, caused by a much weaker cash generation and operating performance in the third quarter,” said Moody’s analyst Falk Frey in the statement.

The ratings agency added that if the debt-burdened company is unable to improve its liquidity by Christmas it could result in a serious downgrade “that might not be limited to one notch”.

There is, however, potential good news for the James Bond car company – two possible investors are understood to be vying for a 40% stake in the firm – India’s automotive company Mahindra & Mahindra and Italian private equity fund Investindustrial.

The firm’s owners – a consortium fronted by Kuwaiti group Investment Dar – purchased Aston Martin in 2007 for £479m. However, recent trading has been poor; for the first nine months of 2012 the company’s revenue was £305m, down 219%, principally as a result of a 20% slump in sales.