Deal for Half of Aston Martin Almost Secured image

Investment Dar Co. is very close to sell half of Aston Martin and boost funding for future development.

“The proposed plan will ensure Investment Dar can deliver its medium- and long-term growth plans, ” Aston Martin spokeswoman Janette Green said in an e-mail.

The owner of the Aston Martin brand has received offers from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra. To stay ahead of Mahindra, which has offered a higher bid, Invest Industrial included a technical partnership with Mercedes as part of the deal, besides the 250 million pounds ($400 million) offered. Investment Dar is part of the group which purchased Aston Martin from Ford in 2007 for 503 million pounds.

“The main question that you have to ask at Aston Martin is, ‘Who is ready to invest any further?,’” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research. “There are clearly some people, but it seems the existing shareholders are not among them. Aston Martin is a strong brand, but it needs investment to expand its market position.”

The company which will win the bid will get a 40% equity stake and 50% of voting rights. Mahindra is the one who offered the highest bid, but anonymous sources say that Investindustrial plans to use car parts and technology from AMG, the Mercedes-Benz unit that makes sports cars, and invest in Aston Martin’s existing models and add new ones to attract customers.

Investment Dar plans to invest the money from selling half of Aston Martin to boost sales and also develop vehicles that can challenge VWs’ Bentley and Fiat’s Ferrari.