Fiat and Chrysler could merge by year-end: Marchionne

GENEVA Wed Mar 6, 2013 10:49am EST

1 of 2. The Fiat logo is seen in a car displayed on the Fiat booth during the first media day of the Geneva Auto Show at the Palexpo in Geneva March 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - Carmaker Fiat's (FIA.MI) Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday that if he agrees to buy the stake in its U.S. unit Chrysler that Fiat does not already own, then the two could merge by the end of this year.

Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, and wants to buy the remaining stake from a healthcare trust called VEBA affiliated with the United Autoworkers' Union.

Fiat and VEBA disagree on the value of VEBA's 41.5 percent stake. The pair are expected to begin negotiations sometime this year.

Should the two parties reach an agreement on price, then "a merger between the two companies is technically possible by the end of the year," Marchionne told journalists at the Geneva Car Show.

Fiat took a stake in Chrysler in 2009 when the U.S. group emerged from a taxpayer-backed bailout, and Marchionne already manages Fiat and Chrysler as one group. He has said he believes that having full control of Chrysler will give the group greater operational flexibility.

(Reporting by Jennifer Clark. Editing by Jane Merriman)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
Dudster wrote:
Just watching the business news and other observations, Chrysler is about over. The company only has a few good products left, the rest of their products are junk.

Mar 06, 2013 10:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
rrbrucea wrote:
You’d be wrong Dudster. Chrysler is enjoying it’s best sales EVER in the US and has become so profitable that Fiat needs it for support. Do your homework.

Also, when was the last time you drove a Chrysler product? Can’t have been recently because they are ANYTHING but junk. In fact, I just bought a brand new Challenger R/T last month and am enjoying it IMMENSELY and it is a WONDERFUL car! But then, so is my wife’s Charger.

And imagine, contrary to your obvious bias, neither car has been in the shop or caused us one bit of grief. So much for the “junk” you erroneously claim Chrysler is building.

Mar 06, 2013 3:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.