Fiat CEO says likely to agree with VEBA on Chrysler price

GENEVA Tue Mar 5, 2013 9:48am EST

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne looks at a presentation of the new LaFerrari hybrid car on the Ferrari stand during the first media day of the 83rd Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne looks at a presentation of the new LaFerrari hybrid car on the Ferrari stand during the first media day of the 83rd Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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GENEVA (Reuters) - Fiat FIA.MI Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said it was likely the Italian carmaker would agree with Chrysler's minority shareholder VEBA on a price for Fiat to buy VEBA's 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler.

Fiat owns the remaining stake, and wants to own the entirety of the U.S. automaker.

The two sides have failed to agree on price so far. However, Marchionne said that faced with the prospect of an initial public offering (IPO) for part of its stake - which would typically be priced at a discount to attract investors - VEBA was likely reach a deal with Fiat.

"It's highly unlikely that, forced with a real market test (of an IPO), that Fiat and VEBA will disagree on (Chrysler's) value," he said at a press conference at the Geneva car show.

VEBA, a health-care trust affiliated with the United Autoworkers' Union, has the right to list part of its Chrysler stake on the New York Stock Exchange in a public offering.

(Reporting by Jennifer Clark; Editing by Mark Potter)

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