Ferrari, Agnelli Families To Sign Pact That Would Render Takeover Impossible

Piero Ferrari, the son of founder Enzo Ferrari, and the Agnelli family, heirs of the founder of Fiat, are determined to sign an agreement tightening their control over the legendary sports car manufacturer.

Under the terms of Ferrari’s IPO, the two families can take advantage of rules that will give them almost half of the company’s voting rights, which would render any potential takeover virtually impossible.

According to Ferrari’s so-called loyalty share plan, stock owners who pledge to hold on to their stake for at least three years receive special shares that increase their voting rights. As a result, the Ferrari and Agnelli families would control 48.7 percent of the company, giving them the power to reject potential bidders.

“We have an agreement among the families to protect our interests in Ferrari. We have a very strong understanding,” Piero Ferrari was quoted as saying by Bloomberg following the company’s initial public offering Wednesday. 70-year-old Piero Ferrari, who is vice chairman of the company, also said he has no plan to sell his 10 percent holding.

As for the other family, John Elkann, head of the Agnellis and chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, said he expects to remain Ferrari’s biggest investor. The Agnelli family’s holding company, Exor SpA, will own about 23 percent of Ferrari after Fiat Chrysler spins off its 80 percent stake at the beginning of next year.

“We definitely look forward to the great ride ahead,” Elkann, said Wednesday on the occasion of Ferrari’s New York Stock Exchange debut.

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