Rome - Is Mahindra's not-exactly-stunning SUV range about to receive a stylistic boost from car heaven? Certainly seems so.
One of the biggest names in Italian car design, Pininfarina, is set to end up in Indian hands following a deal with the Mahindra Group that valued the prestigious, but now insolvent, company at about 33 million euros (R544m).
Founded in 1930, Turin-based Pininfarina designed several well-known cars, including the 1960s Alfa Romeo Spider and the Ferrari Testarossa in the 1980s, and even produced models for Ford, Peugeot, Volvo and others, but its business has dried up in the past decade.
A company statement said Mahindra agreed to buy a 76-percent controlling stake from Pincar, a Pininfarina family holding company now controlled by a consortium of Italian banks, for 1.1 euros per share, or about 25.2 million euro (R416m) in total.
The Mumbai-based conglomerate is expected to shell out a further 8 million euro (R132m) to buy at the same price the remaining Pininfarina stake held by other investors, and has agreed, through subsidiary Tech Mahindra, to invest a further 20 million euro (R330m) in the company's relaunch.