Design firm Pininfarina bought by India's Mahindra Group

Business news: Italian design studio Pininfarina, which specialises in creating sports cars for brands like Ferrari, has been acquired by Indian conglomerate Mahindra.

The acquisition is a joint venture between IT and engineering company Tech Mahindra, and auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra – both part of the Mumbai-based Mahindra Group, which is estimated to be worth £11 billion.

The two companies are purchasing 76.06 per cent of Pininfarina shares from the current controlling shareholder Pincar in a cash deal for an undisclosed amount.

These shares are split so Tech Mahindra owns 60 per cent, while Mahindra & Mahindra controls the remaining 40 per cent. The remaining Pininfarina shares will be offered to existing shareholders in a deal known as an open offer.

"The legendary high-end design credentials of Pininfarina will significantly enhance the design capabilities of the entire Mahindra Group," said the group's chairman Anand Mahindra.

Pininfarina has designed new high-speed passenger trains for Eurostar, which were unveiled in 2014

Pininfarina's design and engineering studio, whose clients have included car brands Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, will remain in Turin.

It will continue to operate as an independent company, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, with chairman Paolo Pininfarina continuing in his position on the board.

He commented: "Pininfarina will continue to offer its design and engineering services to all companies who recognise our experience and skills gained in 85 years of history and appreciate the value of cooperating with a brand that has made the history of car design and has signed, more recently, new icons in other sectors, such as luxury buildings and yachts."

Pininfarina was founded 85 years ago by Battista "Pinin" Farina, and has designed almost 1,000 cars for various brands. The company said the move will allow it to increase its reach, up its output and expand into other sectors of the design industry.

Pininfarina tractor for Zetor
Earlier this year Pininfarina unveiled a tractor design for Zetor that takes its cues from sport cars

"This chapter will lead to the final relaunch of the company and will make us the global design and engineering house of choice for the auto and non-auto industries," said Pininfarina CEO Silvio Pietro Angori.

Pininfarina is designing the new trains for cross-channel rail service Eurostar. Its other recent transport projects range from bicycles to concept cars, and even a Ferrari-like tractor.