MILAN, Sept 26 A listing of car maker Chrysler
would change the relationship with its biggest shareholder Fiat
, which has been trying to take full control of the U.S.
company, the chairman of the Italian group said on Thursday.
Chrysler, 58.5 percent-owned by Fiat, filed paperwork for a
flotation of shares held by the United Auto Workers, which owns
the rest of Chrysler through its retirees' healthcare trust.
The trust demanded the listing after talks with Fiat failed
to agree on a buyout deal. Information in the stock market
listing document has raised questions about Fiat's commitment to
its Chrysler alliance.
"If the IPO goes ahead and there are two separately listed
companies, it is certainly very different from having just one,"
Fiat Chairman John Elkann said, replying to a question asking if
the alliance with Chrysler were at risk if the float (initial
public offering) went through. Elkann was speaking to
journalists on the sidelines of a conference in Milan.
If the two car companies end up being separately listed,
Fiat could re-consider its business plan with the U.S.
automaker, Chrysler said in its filing.
Fiat wants to buy the 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler it does
not already own, in order to merge the group's finances as well.
But the owner of the stake, the union-affiliated healthcare
trust, has not accepted Fiat's offer.
The two sides are thought to be at least $1 billion apart on
a price, which has not been made public. By seeking a public
listing for part of its stake, the healthcare trust would obtain
a market evaluation of its worth.
Fiat is unlikely to walk away from its alliance with
Chrysler, analysts have said, since both groups need each
other's products to survive.
But the seamless sharing of technology, dealer networks,
purchasing and engines would be slower and more expensive if the
two groups were separately listed, said a person familiar with