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Offline mondi

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How bad do things have to get in the car business when you can't even make an ultra-luxury marque like Aston Martin (James Bond's own mystique-laden and insta-marketing-loaded car!) profitable?

Kuwait's Dar, is looking to sell part of its stake of Aston Martin after only buying an interest in the car maker last year.

The Islamic investment firm, which purchased a 50 percent holding in Aston Martin in 2007, is studying offers to sell up to 20 percent of the British luxury brand.

But Amr Abou El-Seoud, executive vice-president of Dar, told Reuters that Dar is not looking to rid itself completely of the legendary sports car marque.

"We have offers ... we are in talks but the (sale) should be value-added whether financially or technically. We are not considering selling and exiting," Seoud was quoted saying in the Reuters story.

Dar bought its half of Aston Martin, acting as part of a consortium, from Ford for 479 million UK pounds (537 million euros). The rest is owned by others in the consortium.

Aston Martin has not been immune to the collapse of the automotive industry worldwide. It has recently announced it will cut 600 jobs in the UK. Dar has also been hit by the global crisis. It's stock is down 77 percent for the year.

Hard times indeed. Hey, any chance on lowering the price on that new One-77? I'll give you A slab of VB for it. No? Guess, things aren't that bad. Yet.

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