The future of one of the most prestigious brands in car-making will be decided within hours, when the bidding process for Aston Martin closes. UBS, the investment bank managing the sale of the marque on behalf of Ford, has asked for final offers for the Gaydon-based outfit to be submitted today. The next owner of the company should therefore be announced within days.
The race to buy Aston Martin originally involved more than 30 bidders. It is now reported to have been whittled down to a well-financed consortium led by Australia's richest man James Packer, one led by current Aston boss Ulrich Bez, and a bid led by Syrian-born billionaire Simon Halabi. Various equity groups from the UK and elsewhere are also said to be interested, as is Canadian component manufacturer Magna.
The winning bidder is expected to have to pay at least £550 million – that's a nice round billion US dollars – for the company.