MILAN Italian private equity fund Investindustrial is likely to announce it will invest in British sportscar maker Aston Martin on Friday, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
"It's probable that there will be an announcement," one of the two people said, declining to elaborate on what the deal would entail. "It's not 100 percent certain, but it's probable."
Indian tractor maker Mahindra and Mahindra (MAHM.NS) had been in talks to inject cash into the iconic sportscar brand from Aston's owner, Kuwaiti investment house Investment Dar, sources said. It was not clear whether it had pulled out of the race.
Investindustrial had earlier bid between 200 million and 250 million pounds ($400 million) for a 50 percent stake and agreed on a technical partnership deal for Aston Martin with Daimler' AG's Mercedes (DAIGn.DE), another person told Reuters on November 23.
Investindustrial, owned by Italy's Bonomi family, is not new to luxury motor brands. In 2006, it bought Italian motorcycle maker Ducati and sold it for about 860 million euros last April to Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Audi division.
The Indian group had hoped to strike a deal to buy up to half of Aston Martin by the end of November, sources said at the time, adding that the deal would likely be for an initial 40-percent stake that could rise to 50 percent for a total price of around $400 million.
Investment Dar has consistently denied it is in talks to sell all of part of its stake in Aston Martin. A spokesman for Investment Dar was not immediately available for comment, nor could Mahindra be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Jennifer Clark and Rhys Jones; editing by Andrew Hay)