Talks are private but from insiders, we learned that Investment Dar Co., Aston Martin’s controlling shareholder, has met with possible buyers. Aston Martin is of course, the famous producer of luxury sports cars see in numerous James Bond movies. One source said that Rothschild has been hired by the Kuwaiti firm, which owns 64% of Gaydon, U.K.- based Aston Martin, to be an advisor for the sale.
Sources also said that one of the companies that Investment Dar has approached in the past two months is Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. It’s believed that a sale is difficult since investors have not agreed to match the price that Investment Dar paid five years ago for Aston Martin.
One person said that Investment Dar has asked for around $800 million in exchange for its stake. These proceeds would help the company pay off the debt of Kuwait’s Investment Dar, part of the group that purchased Aston Martin for 503 million pounds ($805 million) in 2007. If Aston Martin got a new backer, it could develop models that could go up against Bentley and Ferrari.
Aston Martin is famed for having built the 1.2-million-pound One-77. Independent auto analyst John Wolkonowicz said that one can’t be competitive without the support of a large car company. He added that without that much backing, very few become successful. An Investment Dar representative, who asked to be anonymous, denied that it wants to sell Aston Martin. According to Janette Green, director of brand communications at Aston Martin, Investment Dar isn’t thinking about selling. Chairman David Richards and Roma Balwani both declined to comment.