Mahindra expects to soon reach deal to buy Aston Martin, source says

Article by Anita Panait, on November 28, 2012

Mahindra and Mahindra is expecting to reach an agreement to acquire luxury car maker Aston Martin by the end of the week, a source privy to the matter told Reuters. India-based Mahindra is reported to have outbid Italian private equity fund Investindustrial to acquire the British luxury car company. The source told Reuters that an initial 40-percent stake in Aston Martin could rise to 50 percent, for a total price of up to $400 million.

Kuwait's Investment Dar denied Sunday that it is reviewing competing offers from Mahindra and InvestIndustrial for 50 percent of Aston Martin. Sources, however, told Reuters that bidders were squabbling over issues on management control.

Investment Dar headed a group that acquired Aston Martin from Ford Motor Co. in 2007 for GBP479 million ($925 million). According to an analyst, Investment Dar, which undertook a $1 billion debt restructuring in 2011, sought to recover its investments in Aston Martin, which means a value of around $1 billion. InvestIndustrial made an offer of between GBP200 million and GBP250 million ($400 million) for a stake, a source disclosed to Reuters.

It is thought that Mahindra and InvestIndustrial managed to place strong bids for Aston Martin due to an apparent lack of interest among major carmakers like BMW, Daimler or Toyota. Mahindra, the world’s largest tractor maker, owns SYV maker Ssangyong Motors of Korea. The company has seen fellow Indian company Tata Motor gain success in acquiring Jaguar Land Rover four years ago. However, some analysts questioned the logic of linking the Mahindra family to Aston Martin.

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