Brembo Chairman Becomes Billionaire on Brakes for Porsche

Brembo Chairman Becomes Billionaire on Brakes for Porsche

Five different drivers took the checkered flag during the Formula One season last year. The winning cars all had one thing in common — brakes or clutches supplied by Italian auto-parts maker Brembo SpA. (BRE)

The Bergamo-based company established its foothold in the racing world 40 years ago. Since then, Brembo has expanded its customer base by supplying braking systems for car manufacturers such as Ferrari SpA and Porsche SE, a business that has made the company’s chairman, Alberto Bombassei, a billionaire.

“One of Brembo’s greatest fortunes has been the opportunity to enter the world of racing in 1975, when the company started to supply Ferrari in Formula One,” Bombassei said in a Jan. 17 e-mail. “This has enabled Brembo over the years to test on the track new technological solutions, which over time have been transferred to road cars and bikes.”

Demand for the vehicles has helped Brembo’s share price double in the last year. Revenue increased 11 percent to 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in 2012.

Bombassei controls 53.5 percent of Brembo and has a net worth of $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has never appeared on an international wealth ranking.

The billionaire’s stake in the brake manufacturer is controlled through the family’s holding company, Nuova Fourb Srl, whose shares are held in equal proportion under the names of Bombassei’s two children, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

‘Family Business’

The stake is credited to Bombassei because the 73-year-old and his wife still receive the income from 80 percent of the shares. As patriarch and chairman, the billionaire also retains effective control of the family business.

“The fact that Brembo is a family business gives strength to the company,” Bombassei said. “I don’t have plans to reduce my involvement, or to lose control of the company.”

He declined to comment on his net worth.

Brembo was founded by Bombassei’s father, Emilio, and Italo Breda in 1961, when the partners established a workshop making spare parts for vehicles. Their breakthrough came in 1975, when Enzo Ferrari asked the company to equip his F1 racing cars.

Brake Caliber

Five years later, the company developed an aluminum brake caliper that was adopted by manufacturers like Porsche, Mercedes and BMW. It also helped pioneer carbon ceramic discs, which have been a staple of the company since 2002.

“The business is doing well thanks to the company’s focus on high-end road cars, a sector growing three times faster than the auto supplier market in general,” said Monica Bosio, a Milan-based analyst at Banca IMI SpA.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Metcalf in London at tmetcalf7@bloomberg.net; Zohair Siraj in New York at zsiraj1@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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