The design house that built Ferrari has a new Indian owner

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FILE -- Automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Tuesday, July 21, 2015, it will spin-off luxury car manufacturer Ferrari and list shares on the New York Stock Exchange

NEW DELHI (CNNMoney) — Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group has purchased floundering auto designer Pininfarina, paying $28 million for the Italian firm that dreamed up many of Ferrari’s most legendary cars.

Mahindra and its IT arm are buying 76% of the heavily indebted Pininfarina at a steep discount, and have pledged to inject roughly $22 million into the firm. Mahindra, one of India’s top automakers, said it plans to make an offer for Pininfarina’s remaining shares at the same price.

Pininfarina is best known for producing show-stopping designs for Ferrari, a relationship that dates to the 1950s. Ferrari packed tons of performance into its sports cars, but Pininfarina’s designs turned them into works of art.

The design house produced plans for many of Ferrari’s top models, including the 250 GT Berlinetta, Dino 206 and 246, and more recently, the Enzo and 458 Italia.

Pininfarina has also produced designs for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Peugeot and Maserati. Over the past few years, the firm has expanded beyond Europe, winning contracts with automakers including Daewoo, Hyundai and Mitsubishi.

Despite its winning designs and industry pedigree, Pininfarina has suffered in recent years as automakers began to rely more heavily on in-house design teams. Ferrari, for example, designed its new Ferrari 488GTB without any help from Pininfarina.

Pininfarina CEO Silvio Angori told reporters that the Mahindra purchase would breathe new life into the firm.

“You have to bear in mind that under this deal the company will be recapitalized and will have better growth opportunities,” he said, according to Reuters.