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Bertone's destiny clear (?)
23.01.2008, Hakulinen Yrjö

Source: Luca Ciferri, Automotive News Europe
January 23,2008

Italian turnaround specialist Domenico Reviglio is the new majority shareholder in Bertone’s carmaking and design businesses.

Company matriarch Lilli Bertone gave Reviglio her 65 percent stake in contract manufacturer Carrozzeria Bertone and her 100 percent share in styling company Stile Bertone, a Bertone spokesman said.

In exchange, Lilli Bertone gets a 35 percent stake in Reviglio’s new company, which will include the two Bertone businesses. The deal was completed in Turin at 8:30 a.m. today following a night of negotiations, the spokesman said.

Lilli Bertone’s daughers, Barbara and Marie Jeanne, consider the transaction illegal. They say their mother owns just 20 percent of Carrozzeria Bertone and that the remaining 45 percent she sold is part of a separate company that Lilli does not fully control.

Lilli Bertone is Carrozzeria Bertone chairman, CEO and main shareholder. The daughters have threatened to take legal action to stop the deal. The sale does not stop the company’s bankruptcy proceeding.

A Turin bankruptcy court decided Monday, January 14, that a special commissioner, or team of commissioners, should run Carrozzeria Bertone.

The Italian government will appoint up to three commissioners to run the contract manufacturer. The appointments are expected before February 8, when the court will resume its analysis of Bertone's financial situation. The commissioner or commissioners will have full power to run Bertone. Their task will be to secure a future for Bertone and its workers within 24 months.

Bertone stopped volume car production in December 2005. Since then it has struggled financially. The Turin court did not approve a rescue plan for Bertone presented by Reviglio.