India's Mahindra & Mahindra eyes global stage, races for Aston Martin
For Mahindra, Aston Martin would add an iconic and under-exploited brand without stretching its balance sheet, giving it another toehold into the global market.
As part of a strategy to raise its profile overseas, Mahindra last year paid $460 million for South Korea's money-losing Ssangyong Motor Co. That deal was seen as a more natural fit, since both companies are SUV specialists.
While the company has managed to crack the lucrative U.S. market with tractors, it has not with cars, recently scrapping a six-year push to sell a pickup truck there. Of Mahindra's own-branded passenger vehicles, just 7 percent are sold abroad.
"With Aston Martin, entering the U.S. market, the customer is likely to look at you much more seriously as compared to if you are just an Indian carmaker who also owns Ssangyong," said Deepesh Rathore, managing director for India at IHS Automotive.
Investment Dar wants to sell Aston for at least what it paid plus commitment of subsequent equity injection, or $1.1 billion for the whole company, Bernstein Research wrote in a Nov. 14 report, citing industry sources and calling that price high.
With his neat moustache, perfectly-coiffed hair and elegant suits, the company's film-buff chairman with a Harvard MBA looks like he could play a CEO in a movie.
Unlike the chieftains of some of India's more insular family conglomerates, the outgoing
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