De Tomaso bought by Swiss company - report
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Swiss company L3 Holdings is now, reportedly, the new owner of Italian car maker De Tomaso. With a bid of around 2 million euros ($2.8 million), Switzerland's L3 holdings edged out rivals, the Eos Group from Italy and China's Consolidated Ideal Team Venture, for a chance at reviving the Italian marque. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the Swiss firm was the only one of the bidders that presented a detailed restructuring plan for the Italian car maker. L3's vision for the resuscitated De Tomaso includes having around 360 people on its books by 2021.
By that time the company will also have a new factory in Turin that will have churned out around 4500 vehicles, including a mid-engine coupe. The German magazine reports that L3 Holdings is financially supported by Genii Capital. Both Genii and L3 Holdings are chaired by Gerard Lopez, who is also currently team principal of the Lotus Formula One team.
In 2010, Genii Capital was one of the companies in the mix to buy Saab from General Motors. The Luxembourg-based Genii withdrew three days before the end of the bidding process, leaving Spyker, from the Netherlands, as Saab's last remaining suitor. Founded in 1959, De Tomaso gained fame in 1960s and 1970s with its Mangusta and Pantera (above) cars. From the late 70s to the early 90s De Tomaso also owned Maserati and motorcycle maker Moto Guzzi.
De Tomaso fell into bankruptcy in 2004. After a revival in 2008 foundered, the company was once more brought back from the dead in 2012, but again amounted little.