The sudden death of Andrea Pininfarina, head of the Italian car design firm, sent the loss-making company’s shares soaring on speculation that it will lead to an influx of new investors.
The 51-year-old grandson of the firm’s founder – Battista “Pinin” Farina – was killed instantly on Thursday morning when the scooter he was riding to work collided with a car in Turin. Tributes were paid to him by Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the country’s top business leaders, including the chairman of Fiat and Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.
The Pininfarina company has designed some of the world’s most iconic cars, but it has not made a profit in four years and its loses increased to almost 115 million euros last year. The Pininfarina family is in the process of reducing its 55% stake. The shares were suspended from trading on Thursday after they shot up over 20% on speculation that the company might now be sold.