Pininfarina to exit contract manufacturing
The revised plan came just before creditor banks today approved a financial rescue for the company that saved it from the equivalent of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the U.S.
In a statement, Pininfarina said it would not look for new contract manufacturing orders after the current contracts expire at the end of 2011.
Pininfarina is currently building the Alfa Romeo Brera coupe and Spider and the Ford Focus coupe-cabriolet in volumes that are about a quarter of what originally planned.
Pininfarina will commence in 2010 pilot production and in 2011 volume production of the B0, an electric car developed in joint venture with French industrial group Bollore.
The financial rescue plan will cost the Pininfarina family loosing control of the company founded in 1930 by Battista Pininfarina, grandfather of the current chairman Paolo Pininfarina and vice-chairman Lorenza Pininfarina.
The Pininfarina family will give 50.6 percent of its shares to creditor banks in exchange of writing-off 180 million euros of the 597.7 million euro debt of the Pininfarina group.
The family will retain a stake of about 4.5 percent of the publicly listed Pininfarina S.p.A. holding company.
To further reduce Pininfarina debts, the creditor banks next spring will write-off another 70 million euro in debts in exchange of transferring the Pininfarina trademark to a newly created, bank owned company.
Pininfarina said the creditor banks, which will become the controlling shareholder now that the financial rescue plan has been approved, would not ask for board seats or management changes.
Tragedy hit the company in August when its chairman and chief executive, Andrea Pininfarina, died in a car crash.
He was the grandson of the founder, Battista "Pinin" Farina.
The company has designed vehicles for Italy's leading car maker Fiat and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi described the family as a "dynasty that helped bring the story of 'made in Italy' to the world."
Reuters contributed to this report
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