Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA is very close to getting a new owner, as talks with
India’s Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd intensify.
The first reports surfaced earlier this year and indicated that the Indian company is interested in purchasing Pininfarina. Initial negotiations failed and were apparently resumed back in September, when Mahindra showed interest in taking a majority stake of the famous design house.
In November, Pininfarina’s controlling investor, Pincar, was still discussing the sale of a majority stake and an agreement was expected to be announced “in a few weeks“.
Because of doubts that the agreement could be reached with the Indian automaker, Italian newspaper MF reported, on Thursday, that Pincar was going to be liquidated. Mahindra’s representatives didn’t respond immediately to the rumors, but a Pininfarina official announced that negotiations are continuing.
Bloomberg comes forward and states that discussions are still on track, quoting “people familiar with the matter“. Mahindra is believed to invest up to €150 million ($164 million) in Pininfarina, which includes debt and fresh capital, but while talks seem to advance, they could still fall apart.
Purchasing a majority stake in Pininfarina will save the design company from debt, which reported €52.7 million ($57 million) at the end of June, as it was unprofitable for 10 of the past 11 years.
Pininfarina and Mahindra already collaborated on the SUV development as work was carried on the TUV3000 compact model. The 85-year old design company is a longtime partner of Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and others.
Note: Pininfarina Sergio pictured