Martin Richenhagen, the chief of Agco Corp., a U.S. farm equipment maker, says Agco is interested in Fiat S.p.A.'s CNH Global NV unit, but it is not clear if Fiat wants to sell. Richenhagen told business newspaper MF he had met Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne but they didn’t come to any agreement.
Richenhagen adds it was unclear whether Fiat, Europe's number six car maker by market share, wanted to sell CNH, which makes Case and New Holland brands of farm and earthmoving equipment.
Fiat owns 89 percent of CNH, which has a market valuation of $10.7 billion. Richenhagen says that Fiat could be waiting to see results from Chrysler, the U.S. automaker in which Fiat holds 20 percent, before thinking about selling CNH or truck unit Iveco.
Fiat is severing its auto business from its industrial activities, including CNH, at the start of 2011. Agco, whose brands include Massey Ferguson, is moving ahead on a possible CNH merger by studying antitrust issues and on financing "to understand who could accompany us in a similar operation," Richenhagen said. [via autonews - sub. required]