A Report in The Financial Times says that Aston Martin is set to lodge a request in Switzerland for a criminal prosecution, plus a parallel civil action, against the Board Members of Nebula Project AG.
The actions sit parallel to the reported termination of the dealership Aston Martin St Gallen, run by the same two directors, Andreas Baenziger and Florian Kamelger, also the co-owners of the R-Motorsport team that fielded GT3 and GT4 Aston Martins in a variety of international races, as well as the single season Aston Martin effort in the DTM in 2019. Their 2020 plans were postponed at the start of the COVID pandemic with no further news this year.
The Valkyrie was slated to provide the basis for Aston Martin’s initially-announced ‘Hypercar’ race version but the cars were cancelled as Aston Martin re-financed and focused their factory motorsport efforts on F1.
The actions meanwhile are reported to surround the status of around £10 million GBP in deposits taken by Nebula against orders for the delayed Aston Martin Valkyrie, the Adrian Newey designed car, now set for first customer deliveries later this year. The FT reports that several customers have joined the Aston Martin action.
UPDATE: The Commencement of legal proceedings has now been confirmed with a and notice to the London Stock Exchange
UPDATE 2: Response from Nebula Project AG
This is the statement issued by Nebula Project AG in response to the notice of proceedings from Aston Martin
Having reviewed the Regulatory News Service (RNS) distributed by Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc today we are surprised and disappointed about the aggressive tone of the RNS. We have had a strong working relationship with Aston Martin during the past 11 years and have been a loyal partner contributing significantly to Aston Martin’s sales and profit especially through the successful distribution of limited-edition special vehicles.
Nebula Project AG entered in good faith into the agreement with Aston Martin regarding the Valkyrie and other mid-engine programs and has always fulfilled its obligations as co-initiator of said project in accordance with the existing arrangements with Aston Martin. We are convinced that Aston Martin’s allegations towards us in connection with the Aston Martin mid-engine programs are entirely unfounded. On the contrary, we and our customers have been significantly impacted by Aston Martin’s behaviour as partner of the project, resulting among others in a delay of Valkyrie customer deliveries by more than two years due the late start of its production.
We consider Aston Martin’s alleged unilateral termination of the contractual relationship with Nebula Project AG as illegitimate and unjustified and are prepared to pursue the necessary steps to preserve our rights. Contracts have to be honoured despite any shareholders and management changes.
We are convinced that the value of the royalty payments which Nebula Project AG is to receive from Aston Martin is significantly higher than insinuated by Aston Martin. Finally, we want to make it clear that we keep our commitments if Aston Martin keeps their obligations.