Italian Design house Stile Bertone has officially been declared bankrupt, with its hunt for a buyer ending in failure.
Bertone had been hit hard by the global financial crisis of 2008, and efforts to save the brand - which included splitting the design arm off into this new Stile Bertone new business - had not been successful.
The company began the search for a buyer earlier this year to avoid complete closure. Failing to find a saviour, the brand’s assets have since been put up for sale.
It is believed the company had accumulated more than $40 million (31 million euros) in debt since the global financial crisis, and little is likely to be recouped through the sale of its assets.
The company has land and facilities, along with a separate car collection - however the latter is considered ‘national heritage’ under Italian law and must be sold together as one lot.
The Bertone name and brand will continue, however: while Stile Bertone has been declared bankrupt, the branding had only been licenced to the outfit from the Bertone family.
That name and branding will now move to the new Milan-based Bertone Design, again under licence from the family of founder Giovanni Bertone.
Still, the entire affair has left many soured by the experience, including the company’s last design director Michael Robinson:
"Having turned the page, I can't afford to be dragged into this Valley of Tears," Robinson he told American site Wards Auto.
"The real perpetrators should be hung on a tree."
Bertone’s most famous projects included Alfa Romeo’s futuristic BAT concepts of the 1950s, along with the iconic Lamborghini Miura and Ferrari’s 208 / 308 GT4.