By on December 6, 2012

The (not really) silent bidding for British sports car maker Aston Martin still is undecided. The current  favorite appears to be the Mahindra Brothers in India, with  an Italian private equity group also interested. Allegedly, there is another courtier, and that is China’s Geely.

Sohu (translation via Carnewschina) has it that Geely CEO Li Shufu has the hots for the British marque and wants to buy it just like he bought Volvo in 2010. Geely paid $1.5 billion for all of Volvo.  Investment Dar Inc from Kuwait wants to sell its 64% stake for some $800 million, which looks comparatively expensive for a boutique firm like Aston Martin.

However, Sohu thinks that the Aston Martin brand is glam enough to “take advantage of the enthusiasm  of local governments, and to create financial leverage.” Translation:  Aston Martin is a good name to get cheap government credits.  Geely did something similar to raise the money to buy Volvo, and Sohu says Geely wants to buy Aston Martin “in Volvo mode.”

One item should give Geely pause: Aston Martin has a few dealers in China, but business is less than brisk, I hear.

Also possible: The intensity of the bidding war is cooling down, to the dismay of the investment bankers. And a Chinese bidder is always good for a rumor.

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10 Comments on “Chinese Media: Geely Covets Aston Martin...”

  • avatar

    Looking to re-form PAG?

  • avatar

    I’d rather have it be India. They have more of a British culture (forget Hong-Kong) and it would take care of it like Jagaur and Land Rover.

  • avatar

    I think that Geely is biting off more than it can chew. Aston is a moneyhole and in any case it needs to have cash on hand to massively and successfully update Volvo’s charming but rather dated line up. Volvo is no saab – it has the potential to make loads, if geely can take care of it, and doesnt just move on to buy the next shiny foreign brand it can see.

  • avatar

    Didn’t we just have a post that Geely has to come up with $11 billion to run Volvo? Where would they get the running capital to run AM? I think this rumour is factually bogus.

    Sure Li Shufu *wants* AM, but so would I if someone were to give it to me. Doesn’t make me bankable. *sigh*

  • avatar

    Can we stop selling everything to the Chinese? I’m sure they’re great people and all, but seriously they are going to own the world in a few short years.

    Aside from that, I get the feeling it’s going to take a minor miracle for Volvo to be around in 10 years and it’s hardly an inspiring thought to think of AM going to the same hands…

  • avatar

    Yep once Geeley mucks up Tata will buy the lot cheap and reform PAG

  • avatar

    Geely sounds about right. There’s a reason no major Western automakers are bidding for Aston: price. For a few hundred million, BMW could snap it up, combine engines, platforms, factories, and dealers with Rolls operations and probably do alright.

    But for $1 billion+? That’s a lot of money to try to make up on just a few thousand cars a year, especially if you can’t amortize costs beyond one niche brand.

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