Aston Martin owner DAR is to sell part of the iconic British marque. It is also seeking to borrow up to $1bn to refinance its debt.

The investment group has said it is considering offers for 10-20 per cent of the Aston brand. It bought half of Aston Martin in 2007. The company was previously owned by Ford.

"We are not considering selling and exiting," said DAR vice-president Amr Abou El-Seoud. He said that a "maximum 10 to 20 percent of the company" might be taken out of all investors. "There is a 60 to 70 percent chance that we will reach a deal soon."

Mercedes has been suggested as a potential stakeholder. There is already a link between the companies - the Kuwaiti Investment Authority owns a seven per cent stake in Daimler.

Back in February Adham Charonoglu, of DAR, said that Mercedes might collaborate with Aston on range of ventures, from engine development to entirely new models.

The seeds of this are in place. Mercedes is already planning to work with Aston on the next Maybach, as the company's small size allows for greater flexibility, lower bureaucracy and, hopefully, swifter development. This and Aston's new luxury saloon could both be based on the forthcoming W222 S-class platform.