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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 11:35 GMT
Ferrari 'plans theme parks'
Ferrari  F1
Ferrari is back at the top in Formula One
Italian motor company Ferrari is reportedly hoping to float on the stock market as it looks to fund an expansion into sports car-themed amusement parks.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari's chairman, told the Financial Times newspaper that he wanted Fiat, which owns 90% of the company, to float the famous car maker.

Fiat has been considering a flotation of Ferrari, but recently said it was only a possibility and that nothing was imminent.

Ferrari is revered by motoring enthusiasts worldwide for it exclusive sports cars and Formula One history.

Ferrari logo
Ferrari's Prancing Horse logo is famous worldwide
A flotation would be popular with Ferrari enthusiasts, many of whom who would jump at the chance to own a piece of a company whose product few of them can afford.

Mr Montezemolo told the Financial Times: "At the moment, there is no decision, but if I could make a suggestion to my main shareholder, I would say they should think about (a flotation)."

He said money raised from the move would allow the company to expand into entertainment, including the development of Ferrari theme parks.

When a flotation was first mooted last year, part of the motivation was that it would allow Ferrari to offer share options to key staff.

The company had complained that many of its best people were the target for repeated approaches from head-hunters.

Ferrari shop

Ferrari currently dominates Formula One, with world champion Michael Schumacher restoring the company's racing fortunes after years of underachievement.

Its on-the-road sports cars have seen record sales in recent years, but the company maintains a production cap of just over 4,000 cars a year, in order to retain their exclusivity.

It hopes to develop its loss-making Maserati arm as a bulk car maker competing with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari in the executive sports car market.

The company is also opening its first Ferrari shop later this week.

Based at its headquarters in Maranello, Italy, the store will sell Ferrari-branded products.

See also:

05 Jan 01 | Business
Ferrari float hopes stall
28 Feb 02 | Business
Automotive Empires
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