Commencement of legal proceedings
22 June 2021
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc
Commencement of legal proceedings against Nebula Project AG and its board members, a Swiss dealer network member
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc ("Aston Martin" or "the Company") announces that it is filing for civil legal proceedings against Nebula Project AG and, with the support of a group of its customers, criminal proceedings against its board members in order for the prosecutor to investigate any potential criminal behaviour following the failure to pay some customer deposits for Aston Martin Valkyrie programme orders received by Nebula Project AG to the Company. The Company has also terminated the underlying commercial agreement with Nebula Project AG.
Both Aston Martin and its customers have been impacted by Nebula Project AG's and its board members' behaviour. Aston Martin is fully committed to supporting and working with those customers affected to ensure that they will still receive delivery of their Valkyrie programme vehicles as scheduled, prioritising customer relationships, despite the Company not having received all the deposited funds. There are no other agreements like this in place and going forward the Company will ensure that all deposits for special vehicles are received directly by Aston Martin, not through a third party.
In 2016, the prior management team of Aston Martin entered into an arrangement with Nebula Project AG to underpin the development of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and certain other mid-engine programmes. Under the terms of this agreement Nebula Project AG was to receive royalty payments, which could have been significant over time, linked to production volumes of these programmes and Nebula Project AG meeting its funding commitments. As a result of the termination of this commercial agreement with Nebula Project AG, Aston Martin is no longer liable for any of these potential royalty payments.
The Company is today also terminating the dealership arrangements it had with AF Cars AG, a company operating Aston Martin St.Gallen in Switzerland and managed by the same board members as Nebula Project AG, after learning that vehicles have been sold in breach of terms of the dealership agreement. The Company is focused on maintaining service for customers as a priority with the four other dealers it has in Switzerland operating as usual.
The net financial impact to Aston Martin of this extraordinary event is expected to be positive over time, as the financial impact of not having received all the deposited funds, is expected to be outweighed by the benefit from the termination of the Nebula agreement and associated potential royalty payments. However, for the year ending 31 December 2021 it is expected to reduce both cashflow and EBITDA by up to £15 million, including a provision of up to £5m of trade debtors. The Company expects to book the provision in the second quarter and for the remaining impact on cash flow and EBITDA to arise primarily in the fourth quarter. The Company is confident that the net negative impact for 2022 can be managed within current expectations.
Aston Martin has performed well year-to-date during 2021, following the successful completion of the supply to demand rebalance for GT/Sport cars, continuing excellent progress on Project Horizon and with good forward visibility for both GT/Sport and DBX. Aston Martin Valkyrie is on track for first deliveries in the second half of the year.
Other than the short term negative financial impact of this issue, Aston Martin is on course to achieve its financial guidance for 2021 and remains confident in achieving its medium-term targets of c.10,000 wholesales, c.£2bn revenue and c.£500m adjusted EBITDA by 2024/25.
The Company will provide further updates on this issue and the legal proceedings as appropriate.
This announcement includes inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation No. 596/2014 and is being released on behalf of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc by Catherine Sukmonowski, Company Secretary.
Investors and Analysts
Charlotte Cowley Director of Investor Relations +44 (0)7771 976764
Brandon Henderson Senior Manager, Investor Relations +44 (0)7585 326704
Kevin Watters Director of Communications +44 (0)7764 386683
Grace Barnie Corporate Communications Manager +44 (0)7880 903490
Harry Cameron and Simon Pilkington +44 (0)20 73534200
No representations or warranties, express or implied, are made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, the accuracy, fairness or completeness of the information presented or contained in this release. This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which are based on current assumptions and estimates by the management of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc ("Aston Martin Lagonda"). Past performance cannot be relied upon as a guide to future performance and should not be taken as a representation that trends or activities underlying past performance will continue in the future. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any expected future results in forward-looking statements. These risks may include, for example, changes in the global economic situation, and changes affecting individual markets and exchange rates.
Aston Martin Lagonda provides no guarantee that future development and future results achieved will correspond to the forward-looking statements included here and accepts no liability if they should fail to do so. Aston Martin Lagonda undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements and will not publicly release any revisions that may be made to these forward-looking statements, which may result from events or circumstances arising after the date of this release.
This release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or form part of any invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity, nor does it constitute an offer or invitation to buy any securities, in any jurisdiction including the United States, or a recommendation in respect of buying, holding or selling any securities.