LONDON Dec 7 Italian private equity fund
Investindustrial has signed a deal to buy 37.5 percent of Aston
Martin Lagonda Ltd from its Kuwaiti owner Investment
Dar, two sources said on Friday.
The Italian group beat Indian tractor maker Mahindra and
Mahindra in a two-way battle to invest in the iconic
British sportscar maker.
There were no immediate details on price but
Investindustrial had earlier bid between 200 million and 250
million pounds ($400 million) for a 50 percent stake and agreed
on a technical partnership deal for Aston Martin with Daimler'
AG's Mercedes, sources told Reuters last month.
Mahindra and Mahindra had been touted as the frontrunner to
buy the stake but Investindustrial emerged as the favourite to
seal the deal in recent days. Sources told Reuters on Thursday
night that Investindustrial was close to sealing a deal.
Aston Martin makes the cars immortalised by James Bond films
down the decades in Gaydon, Warwickshire, the heartland of
England's early 20th century motor manufacturing heyday.
The 98-year-old maker of the DB9 and Vanquish sportscars has
struggled in recent years. Last week Aston said it sold 2,340
cars in the year to Sept. 30, 19 percent fewer than last year.
The British company has cut costs but needs funds for
research and development and to create new vehicles.
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.