* Fiat CEO says has no immediate financing need
* Marchionne denies reports about $10 bln refinancing talks
* Reiterates Chrysler resistance to recall of 2.7 mln Jeeps
VENICE, Italy, June 7 Carmaker Fiat SpA
does not need to take on any new debt to buy out the rest of
Chrysler, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Friday,
rebuffing concerns about the cost of the looming deal.
Fiat and its U.S. unit Chrysler, in which the Italian group
has a 58.5 percent stake, have 21 billion euros ($27.7
billion)in liquidity that can also be used for acquisitions,
The 41.5 percent Chrysler stake held by the auto workers'
union healthcare trust fund VEBA could cost Fiat $3.5 billion,
said Morgan Stanley in a research report on June 5.
Fiat is expected to buy the stake and then merge the two
manufacturers to create the world's seventh-largest auto group
by sales, but the final cost remains to be seen and there are
questions about whether it will lead to a credit rating
"We have no immediate need for financing, we will not take
on any new debt," Marchionne told reporters at a conference in
Venice. Asked about reports that Fiat was in refinancing talks
with banks for $10 billion, Marchionne said: "No, that figure is
Marchionne confirmed Fiat will soon conclude refinancing for
a 1.95 billion euro revolving credit line. And he added that the
automaker is in talks to refinance debt at Chrysler, without
specifying the amount.
Banking sources have said Chrysler wants to refinance a $3
billion, six-year syndicated term loan that it took out in May
Marchionne has said in the past that Fiat may need to raise
capital in connection with the Chrysler purchase.
Marchionne also on Friday reiterated Chrysler's resistance
to a recall of 2.7 million older-model Jeep vehicles, adding
that the automaker is preparing to supply the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with information it had
Chrysler has until June 18 to comply with the NHTSA's
request and intends to do so, he said.
"We will supply them with a complete set of data," he said.
"Based on all available data, these cars are absolutely safe and
totally in line with what the industry was producing at the
time. There is no design defect."
The NHTSA is seeking to recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee for
model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty model years 2002
to 2007 for potential fuel leakage that could lead to a fire.