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Italy's Pininfarina considering M&A for future growth - CEO

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ROME, May 27 (Reuters) - Italian design group Pininfarina (PNNI.MI) is looking at M&A to give it skills in new sectors, mainly the digital one, and widen its customer base, Chief Executive Silvio Pietro Angori said on Friday.

"So far we have grown organically, our ambition is to now grow externally. We have the ambition of simply becoming the largest design company (in the world)," Angori told reporters at a meeting at the Foreign Press Association in Rome.

"We are carrying out a very careful analysis," he said when asked about any ongoing talks and the possible timing of future deals. "It depends on many factors, willingness must become reality."

The group, listed on the Milan market but controlled by India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (MAHM.NS), is looking at companies in the so-called phygital sector - combining physical design and digital tools - and those in the interaction design sector.

Angori said the Turin-based company saw particularly favourable market conditions in the industrial sectors in which it was interested.

Known for its elegant, aerodynamic designs, mainly for luxury carmakers such as Ferrari (RACE.MI) and Maserati, Pininfarina has moved to diversify its projects - from yachts to state of the art buildings.

"Pininfarina has repositioned itself in a very important way in last years, in order to grow outside the car sector," Angori said.

The automotive business currently represents about 80% of Pininfarina's sales but the company aims to increase the weight of its non-automotive business to reach a 50-50 balance in total revenue.

Seeking to double its sales in the United States, Pininfarina will open a new design office in New York.

Earlier this month Pininfarina said it expected the value of production to increase this year compared to 2021, when it stood at 66.8 million euros ($71.6 million).

The group turned to a profit of 2.4 million euros last year after a 24.4 million euro loss in 2020.

($1 = 0.9329 euros)

Editing by Maria Pia Quaglia and Keith Weir
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