Around EUR463.6 million ($610 million) in cash-exit rights were exercised by investors at Fiat who wanted to divest their stake in the Italian carmaker ahead of its merger with Chrysler Group. The exercised rights were just a bit below of the EUR500-million limit set by Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne.
Fiat said in a statement that around 60 million shares were filed by investors at the cash-exit price of EUR7.727 a share -- equivalent to around 6.3 percent of the carmaker’s EUR9.5-billion share capital. It was vital for the exercise not to top the EUR500 million spending cap since exceeding it would have delayed Fiat’s merger with Chrysler, which is on pace for mid-October.
The exit price is around 1.9 percent higher the EUR7.58 that the shares cost by the end of trading in Milan Wednesday. The submitted shares will be offered to the remaining Fiat’s shareholders at the exit price from September 5 to October 6. Once the offer to remaining investors expires, Fiat may offer it on the open market at that price.
Creditors, including bondholders, still have the right to exercise exit rights. The CEO recently disclosed that shares offloaded by exiting investors may be used "to create liquidity."
Fiat has said it is not expect opposition from creditors to hinder the merger although it reiterated that the marriage may not be completed if the buyout costs for exit rights and creditors opposing the deal exceed the cap.
Fiat is planning to the submitted share as part of the new company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange possibly on Oct. 13, 2014. Marchionne is combining Fiat and Chrysler in a bid to create a carmaker large enough to take on global leaders like General Motors Co., Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp. [source: automotive news - sub. required]