By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:29 am
 

Aston Martin, which was led through its glory years by tractor magnate Dan Brown, is now on the verge of being acquired by Indian tractor manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra, a new report indicates.

Mahindra has bested Italian private equity fund Investindustrial in a bidding battle for Aston Martin, an inside source revealed to Reuters. While there are still details to be ironed out, Mahindra is looking to wrap up the purchase this week after reportedly offering around $400 million to buy 50 percent of Aston Martin from majority shareholder Investment Dar.

Initial reports suggested that Investment Dar was looking to recoup the $800 million it spent to purchase Aston Martin from Ford back in 2007, but it now seems that the Kuwaiti investment firm will have to settle for far less than that figure.

To survive as a low-volume manufacturer of exotics, Aston Martin will likely need an owner with deep pockets in addition to a high level of engineering expertise. Mahindra has extensive financial resources but little high-end automotive experience, leading some analysts to question the deal.

"Aston Martin technology is so far beyond anything that Mahindra is doing at the moment that it's hard to see any synergies either way," said Ashvin Chotai, managing director of consulting firm Intelligence Automotive Asia. "The main thing Mahindra would bring to Aston Martin is money and maybe resources. But they're not bringing a lot of experience."