The bidding process for the sale of Aston Martin is set to close within hours, with final offers for the luxury marque due by the end of today UK time. The auction is being handled by investment bank UBS on behalf of Ford. The remaining bidders include a well-financed consortium led by Australia's richest man James Packer, another led by current Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez and a third group led by Syrian-born billionaire Simon Halabi. Other interested parties include several UK equity groups as well as Canadian parts supplier Magna.

According to Autocar magazine, the new owner of Aston Martin won’t be officially announced for several days. Analysts are expecting the price tag to reach in excess of $1 billion, but this figure is regarded by industry experts as a ‘vanity’ purchase rather than a sound investment. However, Aston Martin is enjoying its greatest level of sales ever and the company is poised to do even better with the launch of its all new Rapide four-door model.

In other Aston Martin news, look out for our review of the stunning DB9 over the next few days.