Aston Martin Takeover Imminent


India's biggest tractor manufacturer or the investment fund that sold Ducati to Audi? One of these could soon emerge as the new owner of Aston Martin.

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on Aston Martin's biggest investor looking to offload its shares. Now reports are circulating the automotive blogosphere as well as financial publications indicating that the sale of the iconic British marque could be nearing completion. While Toyota has apparently opted not to invest, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra (undoubtedly eyeing what rival Tata has done with Jaguar) is reportedly very interested, but it's not alone in the bidding process.

According to reports, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial is also in the mix. The Bonomi family's investment arm had bought Ducati in 2006 and recently sold it to Audi for a tidy 300% profit. Apparently Investindustrial had reached an agreement with Investment Dar (the Kuwaiti firm that owns 64% of Aston Martin), but Mahindra stepped in with a bigger offer. Neither bidder, however, has reportedly offered the $800 million which Dar was looking for, instead competing over a 50% stake with majority voting rights for closer to $400 million. Just which potential buyer picks up the shares remains to be seen, but the deal could be completed before the end of the week.

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