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Mahindra to buy Pininfarina?

Italy\'s Pininfarina could be sold to India\'s Mahindra.

Design house Pininfarina could be the latest Italian company to be scooped up by an Asian bidder. India's Mahindra & Mahindra is reportedly holding talks with Pininfarina about a possible takeover.

The high-level talks were confirmed to Reuters by three different inside sources on Wednesday. However, it remains unclear how far along those talks are. One insider said negotiations were at an advanced stage while the other two indicated the two sides were still far apart on a deal.

"It will be a nice acquisition for (Mahindra), but it's not a must have, so they will be very cautious on valuations," one of the sources said.

Although just a rumor at this point, shares in Pininfarina jumped 21 percent to 4.96 euros on the news.

Pininfarina is best know for styling high-end sports cars for automakers like Ferrari and Maserati, but the company also designs buildings, furniture and even electronics. However, the company hasn't turned a profit in several years, netting a loss of 1.3 million euros in 2014.

Although not a seemingly perfect match — Mahindra mostly makes trucks and SUVs, not lust-worthy sports car — the Indian automaker does have ties to the Italian design house. In 2013 Mahindra hired away Pininfarina's Hubert Tassin to lead its electric car division.

If the deal goes through, it would be the second noteworthy acquisition of an Italian auto company by an Asia firm this year. Earlier this month China National Chemical Corp agreed to buy Italian tire maker Pirelli for $7.7 billion.

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