Daimler AG denies a report from an Italian newspaper that it made a 9 billion-euro ($12 billion) pre-offer to Fiat S.p.A. Daimler said that in fact, it hasn’t been meeting with Fiat to discuss plans to take over the Italian carmaker's industrial operations. Daimler is the world's largest maker of heavy trucks and the No. 2 in luxury vehicles. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that to focus on carmaking, it will spin off industrial operations, including the Iveco truckmaking unit and CNH Global NV tractor division.
Last Wednesday, Daimler spokesman Florian Martens said, “In our industry at this time, everyone is talking with everyone and so are we.” A report from la Repubblica said that talks between Fiat and Daimler are stuck as Fiat seeks 10.5 billion euros for Fiat Industrial S.p.A., the truck and tractor unit that was spun off from Fiat S.p.A. Jochen Gehrke, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, estimates that Fiat Industrial may have a market value of 13 billion euros.
The report also said that it’s possible for a deal to still be reached after the industrial division's listing in Milan next year. Several analysts were skeptical about the report but they realize that Fiat may have left itself open as one aim of the industrial unit spinoff was to enable the division to enter alliances. [via autonews - sub. required]