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Aston Martin names former RBS executive as new chairman

Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin has named former Coca Cola and RBS executive Penny Hughes as its new chairman ahead of an October float on the London Stock Exchange.

Hughes, a former chair of the remuneration committee at Royal Bank of Scotland, has been a director of companies including Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Reuters Group, Wm Morrison and Vodafone and now chairs The Gym Group and iQ Student Accommodation as well as sitting on the board of fashion brand Superdry.

But Hughes will now behind a restructured board at the Gaydon-based sports car manufacturer as it prepares to float on the London Stock exchange next month.

Quoted by Sky News, Hughes said: "I am impressed by the turnaround that has been achieved by the team under the leadership of chief executive Andy Palmer and excited by the group's future.

"Private shareholders have displayed successful long-term stewardship to date and are fully committed, as am I, to transitioning the group, the board and its governance arrangements to those expected of a world-class public company operating from the UK."

Record profits have prompted Aston Martin to announce its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange later this year.

The indicative price range for the IPO is expected to be announced in a prospectus around September 20 with the final offer price in early October, a statement issued by Aston Martin said.

Late last month industry analysts said that the manufacturer was expected to be valued at £5 billion at the IPO, the Financial Times reported, with at least 25% of its shares expected to float in the offer, which follows seven consecutive quarters of profitability.

Aston’s current backers, Italian group Invest Industrial and the Kuwaiti investment fund Investment Dar, sell down some of its shares as part of the listing.

Daimler, which owns 4.9% of Aston and has a technology sharing agreement with the company, will remain a shareholder.

Hughes’ appointment this week was one of three female additions to the Gaydon-based sports car manufacturers board announced today (September 10), with Imelda Walsh and Tensie Whelan also joining the business.

Bloomberg reported that, had the OEM now added the women to the board, it would have become one of about 10 companies within the FTSE 350 equities gauge to have an all-male boardroom.

The women on the board were not added because of diversity requirements, chief executive Andy Palmer said.


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