This image was lost some time after publication.

FoMoCo's attempt to shed the Aston Martin badge via private bid apparently snared a "particularly fierce" level of bidding. Dow Jones Marketwatch is now reporting a list of more than 30 "interested parties" has now been pared down to four contenders in the fight to see who'll be Aston Martin's next top owner. Other noted parties interested in the marquee — former chief exec of FoMoCo Jacques Nasser among them — have already been knocked out of the race. Bids from the four finalists are rumored to be "higher than expected," with "secretive Syrian-born billionaire" Simon Halabi reportedly offering up a bid of 600 million ($1.18 billion) for the Bond-linked brand. [Hat tip to Phil!]

Aston Martin could be sold for more than $1 bln - report [MarketWatch]

Billionaires Mulling Aston Martin Bid For Some Seriously Premium Seat Covers [internal]