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Sun 6 May 2007 11:07 AM

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Bids for Dar's Aston Martin stake

Unidentified suitors bid for Kuwaiti investment company's 50% stake in luxury carmaker.

Kuwait's Investment Dar said on Saturday it had received offers to buy

its stake

in British luxury carmaker Aston Martin but had not yet started any sale talks.

"The company has received purchase offers but has not discussed these offers up to now," Dar said in a statement published on the Kuwait bourse website. It did not identify the suitors.

Kuwaiti newspaper al-Watan said Dar planned to sell part of its stake in the British firm, without identifying any possible bidders. Dar holds nearly 50% of Aston Martin.

Dar, which invests according to Islamic law, was part of a group fronted by former Benetton and BAR racing boss David Richards that bought Aston Martin from Ford Motor for £479 million (US$955 million) in March.

The US automaker said at the time it would retain a £40 million investment in Aston Martin, the firm James Bond spy films helped to make famous.

The Aston Martin name was boosted by its star turn in the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger", with Sean Connery swapping his Bentley for a gadget-laden DB5, complete with ejector seat, rockets and retractable armoured shield.

Daniel Craig was behind the wheel of a silver DBS in the latest James Bond film
Casino Royale

in 2006.

The offer for Dar's stake will guarantee the Kuwaiti firm a profit of at least 20%, al-Watan said.

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