Italian Design House Wins Right to Sell Stake in JV with Ballore

Posted by irfan | 8:13 AM | | 0 comments »

MILAN (Reuters) -- Pininfarina the Italian car designer has secured the right to sell its 50 percent stake in an electric car joint venture after clashing with French partner Vincent Bollore over the group's strategy.

Bollore, head of the Bollore group, and Pininfarina had hoped to deliver the first batch of electric cars this autumn.

The project stalled earlier this year after Pininfarina and Bollore clashed on strategic objectives and amid diverging policies for electric car subsidies in France and Italy, Pininfarina said in its earnings statement on Friday.

To resolve the issue, the two parts agreed to an option for Pininfarina to sell its entire stake in the project between March 1, 2011 and March 15, 2013 for 10 million euros ($13.64 million), equal to book value.

If Pininfarina were not to exercise its put option, Bollore would have the right to buy Pininfarina's stake in the venture in case of a strategy deadlock, also for 10 million euros.

Should Bollore become the majority owner of the electric car company, Pininfarina would still have the right to supply cars to the group.

At the Geneva auto show in March, Pininfarina CEO Silvio Angori said he expected to ship 2,000 of the Bluecar electric cars in 2011.

Major carmakers such as PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Nissan have all invested in developing electric cars. Toyota said on Thursday it was planning to sell compact electric cars in Japan in 2012.

From autonews