Mounting debt and heavy losses in 2011 may mean the Pininfarina family will lose control of its eponymous Italian design studio, long the favored design firm of Ferrari. Reuters reports that a new debt agreement may see the Pininfarina’s 77-percent stake in the company given to credit agencies.
Carrozzeria Pinin Farina was founded in Turin, Italy in 1930 by Gianbattista “Pinin” Farina. The company has designed scores of classic cars around the world, including modern supercars like the Ferrari FF, 458 Italia, and California; the Volvo C70; and the Ford StreetKa and Focus Coupe-Cabriolet (pictured). In recent years, the company has ceased its manufacturing operations and instead focused on providing design services.
However, Reuters reports that Pininfarina lost over €16.9 million ($22 million) last year, and that the company has at least €76 million ($99 million) in debt. European creditor banks plan to restructure the company’s debt over the coming months — but that would result in the Italian Pininfarina family losing its controlling 77-percent stake in the company. A debt deal would give ownership of the company to one (or more) of Pininfarina’s creditors.
Pininfarina went through a similar restructuring in 2008, shortly after CEO Andrea Pininfarina died in a scooter accident.