If you've ever wanted to own a stake in an illustrious Italian luxury automotive design house, now may be the perfect time with reports emerging that Italy's Pininfarina family will be selling off their majority stake in the company.
Reportedly, the family owners of Pininfarina have already engaged the services of an Italian bank to sell their 50.7% stake held by Pincar, the Pininfarina family's company. The news highlights the difficulty that luxury coachbuilders are facing from the financial crisis and the resulting drop in demand for their services and products, a situation that has had rival Italian coachbuilder Bertone on the back foot for some time now.
Despite seeking to sell off their majority stake in the company, an anonymous source within the Pininfarina company revealed to Reuters that the family had "no intention of leaving completely", and the sale was a measure taken to comply with previously agreed upon debt stipulations with banks last year.
With over half the company expected to go up for sale, speculation is rife as to who could step in to purchase Pininfarina. Last year we reported that Piero Ferrari, Enzo Ferrari's second son, Alberto Bombassei, chairman of Brembo, and the Marsiaj family, founders of the Sabelt seatbelt company have all considered investing in Pininfarina, along with Vincent Bollore, a French financier, and Ratan Tata, head of India's Tata conglomerate, who already announced its plans to invest.
It seems Pininfarina's best chances for survival would come from having a group of investors, rather than a single controlling company, considering that if a large enough stake in Pininfarina was acquired by a rival company some of its contracts with auto manufacturers could be put at risk.