Malcolm Flynn | Nov 27, 2012

The sale of Aston Martin appears imminent, as reports this week point to a bidding war between Mahindra and Investindustrial SpA for most of Investment Dar’s existing 64 percent stake.

Reuters reports that Kuwait’s Investment Dar had agreed to take a 50 percent stake in the brand, before Indian giant Mahindra & Mahindra halted proceedings with a counter-bid.

Earlier this month, TMR reported on Toyota’s interest in Aston, the Japanese carmaker understood to have undertaken a preliminary evaluation of potential investment in the historic UK marque.

Toyota's interest is believed to have ended however, with Investment Dar reluctant to budge on its circa US$800 million (AU$760 million) asking price.

Investindustrial’s bid is said to total just US$400 million (AU$380 million), but reportedly carries the additional value of a technical arrangement with Daimler AG that could provide Aston Martin with vital access to Mercedes-Benz technology.

This potential Daimler tie-up follows the still-born strategic alliance between Aston and failed Daimler-owned Maybach brand in 2011.

Investindustrial’s reported bid comes after selling motorcycle brand Ducati to Audi in April, for an estimated AU$1 billion.

Traces of Investindustrial’s reported relationship with Daimler were evident in the AMG/Ducati marketing relationship that ended with the purchase by Mercedes-Benz rival Audi.

The value of Mahindra & Mahindra’s bid for Aston Martin remains unclear, but the Reuters report suggests that the Indian company is interested in gaining technology from Aston, rather than the injection it needs for long-term competitiveness.

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