In a race between the Indian utility vehicle maker, Mahindra and Mahindra and Italian private equity firm Investindustrial to grab a stake in Aston Martin, the clear winner is the Italian firm. Earlier it was being speculated that Mahindra is considering to buy the Aston Martin brand. Finally, Investindustrial has bought up 37.5% stake of the British iconic sports car maker which has become very famous after relentlessly being used in James Bond 007 movies. Investindustrial has bought the 37.5% stake at a cost of €190 million (Rs 1,334 crore). Investindustrial is owned by Kuwaiti based Investment Dar.
Although featured in Bond movies, off late it had become difficult for the brand to sustain itself due to poor sales volumes. This year it sold 2,340 cars till September, down 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2011. Because of this, Aston Martin needed the fresh injection of capital to keep it going strong. However, a strange fact while in the race for the stake bid, Mahindra & Mahindra had unforeseeably pulled itself out of the race. The exact reasons for Mahindra’s withdrawal are not known though some reports point to M&M being put off by Aston Martin’s financial baggage to the company desiring greater control of the management.
Andrea C. Bonomi, Senior Principal at Investindustrial commented on the deal saying that,
“We are looking forward to working with the management and Investment Dar to achieve a similar transformation and rejuvenation that we achieved with Ducati, by expanding the model range and strengthening the dealership network, throughout the world.”
Investindustrial was the same company that turned around the fortunes of Ducati back in 2006 when it bought the company. It recently sold Ducati to Audi for an estimated €860 million (Rs 6,038.40 crore) in April this year. Will Investindustrial be able to make a fortune out of the Aston deal, time will only tell. Till then we have respite that Aston Martin has some more days to live its life. Stay tuned to Car Blog India for latest updates.