Ford may sell Aston Martin /
LONDON - Ford Motor Co. could announce the sale of its Aston Martin luxury performance cars unit for more than 450 million pounds ($865
million) as early as this week, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Formula One team Prodrive, working with Egypt's Naeem investment bank, is frontrunner to buy the business although other bidders such as UK buyout firm Doughty Hanson are still in the process should talks fall through, the source said.
The timing of the deal could also yet slip, the source added.
Doughty Hanson and Syrian-born property tycoon Simon Halabi also submitted second-round offers for Aston Martin in an auction being run by investment bank UBS AG, sources familiar with the matter said last month.
Ford said last year it would sell all or part of Aston Martin to raise funds for other businesses.
Aston Martin is on solid financial footing, a top Ford official said in January, adding that sales of the British car made famous by the James Bond spy movies increased by around half last year to about 6,500 units.
Ford declined to comment.
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