Pininfarina Family Loses Control of Renown Design Firm

Italian banking syndicate forces family to sell controlling interest of firm that designed famous sports cars, as well as new B0 electric car.

Published: 01-Jan-2009

The rolling script of the Pininfarina trademark is as much a part of a Ferrari Testarossa as the V-12 engine, but ownership of the name that spells Italian sports car design has been forfeited in a mountain of debt.

The founding family of Pininfarina has lost its battle to keep control of the design firm and boutique car manufacturer. After months of wrangling, a banking syndicate led by Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit have agreed to reschedule debts of almost €600 million (£575 million), but the family must sell its 50.6 per cent stake in the company.

Potential buyers of the stake are thought to include Vincent Bolloré, the French tycoon who a year ago established a joint venture with Pininfarina to build an electric car. Ratan Tata is also believed to be interested, but the head of the Tata industrial conglomerate is already embroiled in the financial rescue of his recent acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover in Britain.

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