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Are Aston Martin's Owners Fishing For A Sale?

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2014 Aston Martin Vanquish

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish

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Aston Martin is doing something nearly unheard of these days: surviving as a car company without the backing of an industry megalith.

Admittedly, Aston's niche is rather unique, and its decades of brand recognition and reputation (not to mention a tie-in with a grand cultural institution) don't hurt. Nor do cars like the 2014 Vanquish.

But a report from Bloomberg Businessweek today claims Aston's largest shareholder, Investment Dar, is shopping for buyers for the brand.

Investment Dar currently owns 64 percent of Aston Martin, and has reportedly sought $800 million for that stake. According to the Bloomberg report, five people contacted on the matter have confirmed the investment firm is looking for potential buyers, but hasn't been able to match the price paid when it acquired the British carmaker in 2007. Aston Martin and Investment Dar have denied any such plans, however.

If Aston Martin is being shopped around, what might it mean for the solo-flying ultra-luxury sports car maker? That's not clear.

While a new buyer for Aston could mean an infusion of cash and a fresh start on the next generation of vehicles if a private buyer steps up--or a solid footing in a wing of a major carmaker, it could also mean being subsumed entirely into another carmaker.

The worst case scenario, however, would be that Investment Dar really is shopping Aston Martin to potential buyers, but doesn't find any. That might eventually lead to a winding-down scenario as we've seen with Saab.

That, for us, would be a tragedy.
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