Chrysler healthcare trust reply in Fiat suit delayed to Nov. 12

Fri Nov 2, 2012 5:13pm EDT

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Nov 2 (Reuters) - The deadline has been pushed back to Nov. 12 for the minority owner of Chrysler Group LLC to reply in a Delaware court to a lawsuit filed by Fiat SpA over the Italian carmaker's attempt to purchase more shares in the U.S. automaker.

The previous deadline was Nov. 5.

Many legal cases in Delaware are being delayed because of Sandy, the destructive storm that hit the U.S. East Coast this week.

Chrysler's minority owner, a retiree healthcare trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union, and Fiat disagree on the pricing of a 3.32 percent stake in Chrysler.

An agreement signed in 2009 when Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy allowed Fiat to increase its ownership by exercising call options every six months, beginning in July 2012.

Fiat called for the tranche of shares in July, and in September filed suit against the retiree healthcare trust for not delivering those shares.

The two sides disagree on the pricing of the shares.

Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler and the healthcare trust, which is a voluntary employees beneficiary association (VEBA), owns 41.5 percent.

When Fiat took control of Chrysler in 2009, it had a 20 percent stake in the third-biggest U.S. automaker.

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