The winning cars in the 2013 Formula One season all had one thing in common -- brakes or clutches from Italian parts maker Brembo. Since its establishment 40 years ago, Brembo has grown to also become a supplier of braking systems for carmakers like Ferrari and Porsche. This business is what catapulted its chairman, Alberto Bombassei, into becoming a billionaire. "One of Brembo's greatest fortunes has been the opportunity to enter the world of racing in 1975, when the company started to supply Ferrari in Formula One," Bombassei said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.
He said that the opportunity has enabled Brembo to test on the track new technological solutions, which eventually have been employed in road cars and bikes. Demand for high-end vehicles has helped Brembo double its share price in 2013. It posted an 11-percent surge in revenues to EUR1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2012.
Bombassei, who owns 53.5 percent of Brembo, has a net worth of $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His stake in Brembo is controlled via a family's holding company, Nuova Fourb Srl, which shares are held equally under the names of Bombassei's two children, Corriere della Sera said.
The holdings, however, are credited to Bombassei since he and his wife continue to receive the income from 80 percent of the stake. Bombassei also has effective control of the family business due to his position as both as patriarch and chairman. "The fact that Brembo is a family business gives strength to the company," Bombassei said, adding that he has no plans to reduce his involvement or to lose control of the part supplier. [source: Bloomberg]