Aston Martin takes another hit as director sells $33 million stake
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A DIRECTOR at beleaguered car maker Aston Martin Lagonda has completed a second mass share sell-off, in another blow to chief executive Andy Palmer.
Non-executive director Najeeb Al Humaidhi offloaded more than $32m shares on Friday, the company revealed the news, meaning he has now ditched nearly $100m of stock in just five weeks.
It is likely to spark questions over whether Al Humaidhi, a Kuwaiti engineering tycoon, has confidence in Palmer’s ability to steady the ship at Aston Martin, which has nosedived since its float last year. The company’s stock price has crashed from 1900p when it listed in October, to a low of 450p yesterday.
Yesterday Aston Martin confirmed that Al Humaidhi had sold $34m worth of shares on Friday, at 83c a share. He previously raised $55m by selling shares at $1.84 each at the end of June.
The sell-offs, conducted through his Jersey-based firm Primewagon, represent around 10pc of his holding. It leaves him with an 11.14pc stake in the business.
City watchers said the latest sale was unhelpful as Aston Martin executives continue to fight to retain investors’ confidence.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘For individual directors there could be lots of reasons like personal finances, but you can’t ignore it as this is a lot of money and they are taking evasive action.‘It’s not a helpful development for the company.
’Al Humaidhi, a civil engineer by training, became a billionaire from the float when he sold $621m of stock. He is from one of the country’s oldest merchant families, whose wealth can be traced back to the 1700s when Kuwait was a prosperous trading hub.
Aston Martin posted record profits ahead of its listing, but crashed to a $147m loss in the first half of this year.
Shares in the company closed down 3pc, or 14p, at 454.8p.
- Daily Mail