Fiat could raise its stake in Chrysler to 46 percent by June

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 14, 2011

Fiat S.p.A. could increase its share in Chrysler from 30 percent to 46 percent by June this year -- a feat that’s “technically possible,” individuals familiar with the matter told Automotive News Europe.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Thursday that discussions with international investment banks on refinancing Chrysler’s payables with the Canadian and U.S. governments are at an advanced stage, allowing Fiat to possibly increase its share. Fiat’s ability to increase its share will depend on the result of the negotiations with the banks.

The newspaper further reported that such increase in shares is the “real goal” of Sergio Marchionne, who runs both Fiat and Chrysler, by June or earlier.

Fiat declined to make a comment on the report. Currently, Chrysler owes $7.4 billion to the Canadian and U.S. governments from a loan taken in June 2009 when it exited bankruptcy proceedings. Fiat also then took management control of the U.S. automaker. Last Monday, Marchionne said that Chrysler would refinance its loans by June.

He also added that Fiat wanted to have the majority of the shares in Chrysler by the end of this year. Details of achieving such goal have not been revealed.

A regulatory filing of Chrysler last April 6 with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, in preparation of an initial public offering, revealed that in order for Fiat to increase its share to 46 percent, the U.S. automaker’s loans to the Canadian and U.S. governments must be reduced to below $4 billion.

Topics: fiat, chrysler

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