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Due principally to debt, the family owners of Pininfarina S.p.A. have contracted with Italy's Banca Leonardo to help them sell 50.7 percent of their stake in the design/contract manufacturing business. Said a source, "It is a commitment [the Pininfarina family] made with the banks. The family has no intention of leaving completely." Sure, but who will buy controlling interest of such a storied company? Have you met our Indian friend Tata?

That's right, rumors are swirling that Indian giant Tata, new owner of both Jaguar and Land Rover, is reportedly in the hunt to purchase the Pininfarina family's shares. However, the reports are painting the pending deal as a partnership rather than a takeover and Tata already has dealings with Fiat, so they're familiar with the Italian way of doing things. For its part, Pininfarina is working on an electric car (hey, why not?) with French entrepreneur Vincent Bollore. They also have contracts with both Ford and Volvo to build cabriolets of the Focus Coupe-Cabriolet and the C70, respectively. We'll see how this all plays out, especially now that Fiat owns Bertone.

[Source: Automotive News - sub req]

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