If Aston's for sale, who wants to buy?
Aston Martin, the British luxury brand that James Bond favors, is on the selling block, according to Bloomberg. So who are the potential bidders?
Investment Dar Co. of Kuwait, Aston's controlling shareholder, has approached Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra, the news service says. Acquiring Aston would give Mahindra a luxury trophy to hold up against Indian rival Tata's Jaguar and Land Rover.
Bloomberg also says Toyota hired an auditor to conduct a one-week study on buying a stake in Aston. But it says the Toyota analysis, which was carried out less than two months ago, was preliminary and hasn't advanced to a full-blown evaluation.
Investment Dar, which has denied that Aston is for sale, is said to be seeking about $800 million for its 64 percent stake. The investment group acquired the stake from Ford Motor Co. in 2007.
Aston Martin remains the only global luxury brand that's not part of a larger auto group. It still gets engines from Ford, but lost access to Ford's other resources after the sale.
The bulk of Aston Martin's lineup consists of two-door coupes such as the DB9, Vanquish and Vantage. It also offers the tiny Cygnet, which is based on Toyota's iQ.