TURIN â€“ The Turin bankruptcy court rules custom coachbuilder Bertone SpA is not on the verge of insolvency and agrees with a premise put forth by company shareholders that there is no existing majority entitled to run the company.
As a result, the court is ordering one or more commissioners to be selected by the Ministry for Economy and Labor to examine the state of Bertone and present a report to the court within 30 days of being appointed. The court then will rule on the companyâ€™s future.
The court decision was prompted by the inability of the company to hold a shareholder meeting after another office of the court confiscated the shares that were held by Lilli Bertone and transferred to NewCo, a new company formed by Lilli Bertone and investor Domenico Reviglio.
Reviglio earlier signed the deal to purchase a controlling stake in Bertone but called the deal off after legal battles over the operations began to ratchet up. He now says he remains committed to rescue Bertoneâ€™s ailing manufacturing arm, Carrozzeria Bertone SpA.
It will be up to the appointed commissioners to decide whether to recommend the sale be approved or whether a different reorganization plan is the better path for the company.
Carrozzeria Bertone will need enough contracts to keep its assembly lines busy and possibly make a profit. Bertoneâ€™s design operation, Stile Bertone SpA, is not in trouble. It has enough contracts to remain profitable and only needs to remain isolated from the factoryâ€™s troubles.
One alternative is to sell all assets, pay all creditors, dismiss the workforce and liquidate Carrozzeria Bertone.
Estimates are selling Carrozzeria Bertoneâ€™s facilities would generate at least â‚¬40 million ($58 million).