(Fixes dropped word in last paragraph)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN Nov 23 Italian private equity fund
Investindustrial and Indian car maker Mahindra have
made competing bids for 50 percent of British luxury car maker
Aston Martin with a deal expected over the weekend, a source
close to the matter said on Friday.
Investindustrial reached a agreement with Kuwaiti investment
house Investment Dar, which owns Aston Martin, on Thursday but
afterwards Mahindra made a higher counter bid, the source said.
"They are in talks. A deal is expected to be finalised over
the weekend," the source said.
A spokesman for Investment Dar was not immediately available
for comment, nor could Mahindra be reached for comment.
The source said Investindustrial had made a bid worth
between 200 million and 250 million pounds ($400 million) for
the stake and was confident in winning the race because its
proposal was "technically" superior.
It said Investindustrial had agreed a technical partnership
deal with Daimler AG's Mercedes.
Investindustrial, owned by Italy's Bonomi family, is not new
to luxury motor brands. In 2006, it bought Italian motorcycle
maker Ducati and sold it for about 860 million euros last April
to Volkswagen's Audi division.
($1 = 0.6246 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by Amran Abocar in Dubai; Editing by Lisa
Jucca and Leslie Gevirtz)