Aston Martin could be on the brink of being sold to the former head of the BAR Formula 1 racing team in a #455 million deal.
Dave Richards, the head of the Prodrive engineering consultancy, has emerged as the front runner in the race to buy the luxury sportscar maker.
Aston Martin, which employs 1,500 at its site in Gaydon in Warwickshire, was put up for sale last summer by parent company Ford which is struggling with losses of #6.5 billion last year.
Mr Richards, who already has close links with Aston Martin, is thought to be working with a number of investors, including Egyptian bank Naeem Capital.
A spokesman for Aston Martin said: "Our chairman Ulrich Bez told the Geneva Motorshow that you don't stop on the 23rd hour of the Le Mans Race and call a press conference to say you are leading.
"Until the ink is dry on the paper we cannot say anything. But I would expect an announcement early next week."