The Yew Tree and the Chinese Billionaire

05 January 2023

Chinese billionaire Li Shufu whose Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired a 7.6 per cent stake in the British brand in September 2022, is interested in raising that shareholding close to 10 per cent in the future.

In July, Aston Martin said it had rejected a proposal by Geely and Investindustrial for an equity investment of as much as £1.3 billion. Since then, its shares have slumped.

Any attempt to gain too much control could run into opposition from existing shareholders, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

Lawrence Stroll and his syndicate of billionaire investors, using Yew Tree Investment Group as the acquirer, have been buying up Aston Martin Shares In a possible attempt to block a hostile Geely takeover.

Yew Tree has increased its stake in Aston Martin from 19 to 28.29 per cent recently.

If Yew Tree manages to acquire 29.99 per cent of Aston Martin, they must make an offer to buy the remaining shares under the takeover code of practice. 

Insiders, though, strenuously deny that Yew Tree is trying to take the automaker private.