Aston Martin, the luxury British car-maker whose
brand was immortalized by James Bond, declined to comment Monday on
speculation that it was up for sale.
"We have no comment to make at this time on the speculation," said spokeswoman Sarah Calam at the firm's headquarters in Gaydon, in the county of Warwickshire, north-west of London.
The current owner of Aston Martin, Kuwait's Investment Dar, had previously denied reports it had received competing bids for a 50-per-cent stake in the firm.
The Financial Times said Monday that Italian private equity fund InvestIndustrial had made an offer of about 250 million pounds (400 million dollars) for the brand, but that India's Mahindra and Mahindra had topped the offer.
Both were described as "final bidders" for the stake.
However, in an interview with Kuwait's Al Watan newspaper Sunday, Investment Dar chairman Adnan al-Musallam denied the story.
The Financial Times said the Italian offer includes a technological partnership with Daimler's Mercedes-Benz that could be seen as a "trump card."
The company was sold in 2007 by Ford for 479 million pounds to a consortium of Investment Dar and another Kuwaiti investment fund, Adeem Investment.
At the time, its new owners pledged to take Aston Martin to "even greater heights", especially in China, which is now its fifth-largest market. Aston Martin is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.
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