UK private equity fund, Mahindra interested in Aston Martin

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 26, 2012

Sources said that competing bids were received from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. for half of the sports car maker Aston Martin. Investment Dar Co., the owner of Aston Martin, received the bids, according to the Bloomberg report. The sources also said that a winner may be chosen by Investment Dar and other Kuwaiti investors who own U.K.-based Aston Martin at this weekend at the earliest.

Two insiders said that the buyer will receive the stake as part of a capital increase. A bid of slightly lower than 250 million pounds ($401 million) was submitted by Investindustrial, a European private-equity fund based in London. They said that Indian automaker Mahindra then made a higher bid, beating down the previous offer.

It was also reported that a decision will signal the end of Investment Dar’s search for an investor for Aston Martin. Investment Dar is part of the group that purchased Aston Martin from Ford Motor Co. in 2007 for 503 million pounds ($805 million). The proceeds would enable the company to pay off debt. One source said that the bidder who will be chosen will receive 50% of the voting rights and a 40% equity stake.

The source also said that the remaining part of the stake will be kept by Investment Dar, the other Kuwaiti investors and Aston Martin management. Neither Investindustrial nor Aston Martin has commented on this report. It’s possible that a new supporter for the legendary British brand may aid Aston Marin to increase volumes and make cars that rival Bentley and Ferrari.

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