The controlling shareholder of Aston Martin has reportedly approached a number of prospective buyers as it looks to sell its stake in the luxury British sports car manufacturer.
Bloomberg reports Kuwaiti-based shareholder Investment Dar Co., which owns 64 per cent of Aston Martin, has consulted with a handful of companies in relation to the sale of the UK-based business it purchased off Ford Motor Co. in 2007.
Indian automotive powerhouse Mahindra & Mahindra is said to be one of the potential buyers sought out by Investment Dar, with talks reportedly taking place between the two in recent months.
Another person close to the matter said Toyota Motor Corp. appointed an auditor to carry out a study into the purchase of the stake in Aston Martin around two months ago. Toyota and Aston Martin are already tied together in a partnership, collaborating on the Toyota iQ and Aston Martin Cygnet (above) city cars, although the source said the Japanese manufacturing giant has not progressed beyond the initial inquiry phase.
A sticking point for some potential suitors is understood to be Investment Dar’s asking price. The Kuwaiti company is reportedly unwilling to settle for a price below the £503 million ($770 million) it initially paid for Aston Martin almost six years ago.
Aston Martin remains the only truly global luxury car maker that is not part of a larger automotive group.
A deal between Aston Martin and Mahindra would in many ways parallel the corporate structure of fellow British-based luxury sports car brand Jaguar, which – along with Land Rover – was purchased by India’s Tata Motors from Ford in 2008.