India’s largest SUV maker, Mahindra & Mahindra is set to present an official offer for Pinifarina on the Italian car designer’s shareholder meeting that is taking place on April 29 according to two sources close to the matter.
Mahindra’s offer is supposed to back Pinifarina’s controlling shareholder – Pincar – which has 76% stake in the group that is well known for designing Ferrari models and other luxury cars. That being taken into account, the offer needs yet to be approved by Pinifarina’s creditor banks before passing on. With a burden of debt, Pinifarina, whose market value reaches 162 million euros, stated at the end of March that Mahindra has shown interest in buying it, which led to stock rises of 40% ever since. With talks of the two being in the final stages of negotiations, the Indian group stated on Monday however that it had not gone into any agreement with a material impact on the company up to that point. With China National Chemical Corp’s 7.3 billion euro buy into the famous tire maker Pirelli, Mahindra taking over Pinifarina would be the latest sale of a famous iconic Italian brand to an Asian investor.
Founded in 1930, Pinifarina came onto the market as a niche car manufacturer with its business struggling to compete with bigger vehicle makers, leading to its closedown in 2010. The company turned into a smaller niche design and engineering competitor, producing only one-off models or very small car series. The group expanded its design work to buildings, interiors, furniture and electronics, but reported in 2014 a net loss of 1.3 million euros. Its net debt reached 45 million euros at the end of 2014 and it is expected to increase even more in 2015.
By Gabriela Florea
Via Automotive News Europe