Italian coachbuilder saved from the receivers at the last minute
24 January 2008

January 24, 2008:

It was announced today that Dr. Domenico Reviglio, head of Gruppo Prototipo, has been sold a 65 per cent share in Italian coachbuilder, Bertone. Lille Bertone remains the owner of the other 35 per cent.However, there are rumours that Lilli Bertone's two daughters are contesting the contract, maintaining that their mother didn't have the right to sell all the shares transferred in the agreement. There is no official news regarding the supposed family disagreement, nor on whether it could result in legal action.

January 2, 2008

Struggling Italian coachbuilder Bertone has found a buyer with days to spare before a bankruptcy court hearing that could have closed the iconic company after 95 years.Bertone’s new owner is Gruppo Prototipo, the Turin-based outfit that owns Italy's Nardo high speed test facility and specialises in trialling pre-production vehicles. Since the late '90s, Gruppo Prototipo has been a sub-contractor for most of Fiat’s testing requirements. The takeover announcement surprised the Italian business community today; many analysts expected Bertone to slip under after the company filed for bankruptcy protection having made €37 million losses in three years. Negotiations for a Fiat buy-out had also fallen flat. For now the Italian government, which has been subsidising Bertone’s 1300-strong workforce, has agreed to extend the two-years' financial protection granted to the company for an additional two months.

Will Powell

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