Pininfarina family set to lose control of the famous car design company

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 16, 2012

As the extended debt restructuring talks are nearing their end, sources have hinted that Italy's Pininfarina family will lose control of the car design company. Pininfarina, which had designed dream cars such as the Ferrari FF, posted a loss of 16.9 million euros in the first nine months of 2011. It had closed its manufacturing operations to re-invent itself as a smaller niche design player.

Sources say that a deal with creditor banks including Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, Mediobanca and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to restructure net debt of 76 million euros is on track and will be attained in the upcoming months.

A source said that the debt situation is “stable and the talks are not contentious, so there is no hurry." This agreement will secure the capital structure for the foreseeable future. When this debt accord is finalized, it will give control of the family's 77% stake to its creditor banks. This ends the Pininfarina family's ownership of the influential design house founded by onetime Turin carriage maker Gianbattista "Pinin" Farina in 1930.

The company became famous in the 1930s for raising the appeal of the latest aerodynamic design trends to the wider public. Its designs include the ground-breaking Cisalfa coupe, which is now displayed at the New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Almost all Ferrari sportscars since the 1950s are by Pininfarina. Its shareholders will have a mandatory special meeting on Wednesday to listen to management's plans on how to return to profit, according to another source who said that the plans don’t include a capital increase.

Topics: pininfarina

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