Fiat and Chrysler will eventually be merged - Marchionne

Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:33am EST

Jan 14 (Reuters) - Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC will eventually be merged even if Chrysler does go for an initial public offering, said Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of both automakers.

"We will eventually have a merged car company," Marchionne told reporters at the Detroit auto show.

A minority owner of Chrysler last week pushed the U.S. automaker to take the first step toward becoming a public company again by demanding that Chrysler register shares with U.S. regulators.

A voluntary employee beneficiary association (VEBA), which owns 41.5 percent of Chrysler, has the right to make the demand because of a 2009 agreement that brought Chrysler out of bankruptcy and left Fiat as majority-owner.

Fiat, which owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, has no interest in reducing its stake in Chrysler or relinquishing its call option rights to buy Chrysler stock from VEBA, Marchionne said.