Aston Martin, famed carmaker to James Bond and the global rich, is about to announce plans to go public, according to a new report.
After months of speculation and rumors about an IPO, privately held Aston Martin will announce Wednesday that it will list shares on the London Stock Exchange before the end of the year, according to Sky News. The news outlet said the company is selling £1 billion ($1.29 billion) in shares that would value the company at around £5 billion ($6.44 billion).
Aston Martin's current main shareholders include Italy's Investindustrial and Investment Dar, a Kuwaiti investment fund. Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, also holds a small stake. Aston Martin declined to comment on the IPO reports.
The initial public offering would solidify Aston Martin's recovery after years of financial struggles and product difficulties. The company reported its highest-ever sales last year, with revenue of over $1 billion and profit of around $244 million. It sold 5,117 cars, a 58 percent jump from 2016 and the most since 2008.
Aston has powered sales with new, more powerful models — like the $200,000 DB11 and $300,000 Vanquish — as well as pricey limited-edition runs like the Vanquish Zagato. Made famous for being the preferred ride for MI6 agent 007, the company recently announced plans to make 25 recreations of the famed 1964 DB5 driven by Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" — priced at more than $3.5 million each.
The company has also launched plans for an all-electric car division, called Aston Martin Lagonda, that will launch cars in 2021.
The listing is also an effort to capture the boom in high-end sports car sales and some of the success of Ferrari, whose stock has more than doubled since it went public in 2015. Ferrari's market cap is now more than $24 billion, and the company sold 8,400 cars last year, with revenue of nearly $4 billion.