Joined: 03 May 2005
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By Marco Bertacche
Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Andrea Pininfarina, the chief
executive of Pininfarina SpA, a designer of sports cars including
Ferrari Testarossas and Fiat SpA's Alfa Spider, was killed today
when his motor scooter collided with a Ford. He was 51.
Pininfarina died instantly after his Vespa hit the Ford
Fiesta at about 8:15 a.m. in Trofarello near the northern city of
Turin, Italy, said police official Luigi Semenzato. A company
spokeswoman declined to give more details.
The auto-design company, founded in 1930 by Andrea's
grandfather Battista ``Pinin'' Farina, has developed cars for
Fiat unit Ferrari SpA for more than 50 years. It's currently
working on five vehicles, including Ford Motor Co.'s Focus Coupe
Cabriolet and Fiat's Alfa Brera. The company, based in Turin,
posted losses in the past four years as production costs exceeded
orders from clients.
Pininfarina was leading the company's attempt to restructure
and restore profit. As part of their turnaround strategy,
Pininfarina is planning to sell 100 million euros ($155 million)
of new shares to existing investors, French billionaire Vincent
Bollore and India's Tata Motors Ltd.
``The market now is speculating about a potential sale of
the company,'' said Luca Sega, who helps manage 300 million euros
($464 million) at Aperta Sgr in Milan.
The shares rallied 21 percent to 7.25 euros in Milan trading
today and were repeatedly suspended for excessive gains.
Pininfarina has lost 69 percent in the past 12 months, leaving
the company with a market value of 68 million euros. That
compares with a 27 percent decline of Italy's S&P/MIB stock
The Italian car designer's loss widened to 114.9 million
euros in 2007 from 21.9 million euros a year earlier, after
writedowns of 69.6 million euros. The company, 55 percent owned
by the Pininfarina family, in December announced an electric-car
joint venture with France's Groupe Bollore and is seeking to
boost its engineering business to restore earnings.
``I'm quite confident his company will overcome this
terrible shock,'' Bollore said in an e-mailed statement. He
called Pininfarina ``an outstanding entrepreneur and always on
the cutting edge.'' Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Fiat
and Ferrari, said the businessman was a ``symbol'' of
Pininfarina was one of the two sons of Sergio Pininfarina,
who is honorary chairman of the company and an Italian senator
for life. Andrea's younger brother Paolo is Pininfarina's vice
chairman and his sister Lorenza sits on the board.
Italy's president in 1961 approved a request by their
grandfather Battista, nicknamed ``Pinin,'' to change the family's
surname to Pininfarina.
``I'm deeply saddened,'' Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi said in an e-mailed statement. Italy ``loses a leading
personality of the country's industrial life and the
representative of a dynasty that did so much for the made-in-
Italy brand around the world.''
Pininfarina was appointed CEO in 2001 and was a member of
the board of Italy's biggest employers lobby, Confindustria.
He's survived by his wife Cristina Pellion di Persano and
three children. He also was a board member at Finmeccanica SpA's
Alenia Aeoronautica SpA unit and furniture-maker Poltrona Frau
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