Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Fiat/Exor chairman John Elkann

Just a couple of weeks ago, few of us had ever heard of a company called Exor. After all, why should we? It's a private family investment company. But the family in question is the Agnellis, and their company holds the keys to the entire Fiat empire (and by extension, much of Chrysler as well). Then news broke that Exor was part of a consortium looking into buying the commercial rights to Formula One.

While that development plays itself out both in the media and behind closed doors, Exor is in the news once again, but for an entirely different reason. Reports from Italy indicate that Exor is considering spinning Ferrari off into a separate entity. The move would likely follow a similar path taken when they spun off Fiat Industrial, granting current Fiat shareholders (the Agnelli/Elkann family included) the same proportional stake in a separate Ferrari, which would in turn place the Prancing Horse marque outside the scope of any potential merger between Fiat and Chrysler, while also making it easier to sell off part or all of Ferrari.

Of course, this isn't the first time the Elkann brothers have been linked to a more direct role at Maranello. While John Elkann chairs both the Fiat group and Exor, his eccentric brother Lapo has been rumored to replace Luca di Montezemolo as chairman of Ferrari should the latter opt to run against Silvio Berlusconi for the Italian premiership.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Dump
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the FIAT board is moving along in a good direction. They seized a crucial opportunity in taking control of Chrysler --- though it has risks --- they now have open access to the US market more on their own terms. The GM-FIAT relationship did not bode so well about a decade ago --- but it left FIAT independent (of GM) and with an extra $5bln in cash from a costly Put option in their contract with GM. Now, FIAT's major shareholders are moving to protect their most valuable brand from any possible negative market perceptions if/when FIAT fully merges with Chrysler. FIAT won't give up their access to the US market, not that they have it again. The Agnellis want to be sure that Ferrari remains insulated if FIAT-Chrysler become immersed in future financial woes. It's a good forward-thinking move. Ferrari, though a separate auto brand now, can soon become a tuning/performance consultant to FIAT-Chrysler without having to defend rumor/speculations that the brand offers rebadged models to help the performance-oriented products offered by either FIAT & Chrysler.
        SenorMitchSpence
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dump
        I completely disagree. Automobile manufacturers should never concentrate on finances. They should purely concentrate on the spirit of the automobile. Ferrari is the heart of the Chrysler/Fiat relationship. All Fiat/Chrysler's all strive to be Ferraris. Ferrari is the super cool brother of the F/C family. And they're trying to send Ferrari off to boarding school to make more money. It is against everything that Ferrari stands for. Ferrari is the top of the auto world, and it is the lead R&D section of F/C. I don't know why they want to split Ferrari off. A corporation cannot survive when it breaks itself apart. They should be working to beef up Ferrari, buying up super-yacht businesses and small jet businesses, and premium cheese, wine, tobacco, shoes, clothes, inns, etc. Foster Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari has always interacted with its lower counterparts, using Fiat switches, splitting the Dino up between Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari. Most of Ferrari F1s fan-base probably comes from lower model owners. Why care about F1 when Ferrari doesn't even want to associate with its lower siblings. Its a - disheartening - idea to say the very minimum.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      It seems the number one product of FIAT (and Marichonne) is financial games. FIAT needs to concentrate less on how to dress the books and unlock shareholder value and more on making products.
        Redline
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Increasing shareholder value should be the number 1 concern for any company. Making products is part of the process.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Redline
          And that's how we got into this mess. Jack Welch was declared CEO of the Century for using accounting tricks. Now everyone wants to be like him. The real way you increase shareholder value long term is by increasing the value of the company. Moving numbers to different columns doesn't actually make a company worth more.
      budwsr25
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does everyone in the Exor family get a free ferrari at christmas?
      jvshenderson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this entirely unrelated to their bid to buy F1? Or are they considering unloading Ferrari in order to avoid a conflict of interest?
      Jac Zobel de Ayala
      • 3 Years Ago
      Right. Like sports car companies survive on their own. Sooner or later they fold or are gobbled up. Few people buy super cars. Most rich folks are simply not interested in them.