Aston Martin's main stakeholder, Investment Dar Co., is reportedly looking to unload the British sports car maker.
According to Bloomberg, Investment Dar – which owns 64 percent of Aston Martin – has approached several companies about the sale of the Gaydon, UK-based company, including Toyota and India's Mahindra & Mahindra. Investment Dar has even hired Rothschild to advise on the sale.
Reports of an Aston Martin sell-off have been circling the internet rumor mill on and off for the past few years, but Investment Dar looks to be getting serious about selling the brand. Aston Martin has struggled to find its footing as an independent automaker, threatening Investment Dar's investment in the company.
“I don’t think you can truly compete without having the capabilities of a large car company behind you,” John Wolkonowicz, an independent auto analyst, told Bloomberg. “There are very few examples of sustained success without it.”
So far Investment Dar hasn't fielded much interest in Aston Martin due to its high asking price. Investment Dar is said to be seeking $800 million for Aston Martin, which would essentially cover the $805 million the company paid Ford for the brand in 2007.
Toyota, which supplies Aston Martin with the architecture for its Cygnet model, hired an auditor to conduct a one-week study on purchasing the brand, but the sale has not progressed beyond that point. Mahindra & Mahindra has also held talks with Investment Dar about purchasing Aston Martin.
Aston Martin will likely need a larger parent company to survive in the long term. Aston Martin generated $800 million in revenue last year, which pales in comparison to the $1.3 billion BMW spent on engine development alone in 2011.