FLORENCE, Italy, June 13 Italian carmaker Fiat
SpA's U.S. unit Chrysler is still working on a $3
billion loan refinancing, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said on
Thursday, confirming what sources had earlier told Reuters.
On June 12 Reuters reported that Chrysler had
set terms on a loan refinancing that could lower its borrowing
costs and make it possible for Fiat to access Chrysler's cash
Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler and wants to buy up the
rest. Talks with the seller, an autoworkers' union-affiliated
healthcare trust, are continuing, Marchionne said on Thursday.
Asked for a progress report on the Chrysler loan talks,
Marchionne said: "The transaction has not yet been concluded."
The completion of an agreement is expected on June 21,
Reuters had reported, citing banking sources.
Fiat aims to complete the transaction, merge the two
carmakers into one group, then list the new company on the New
York Stock Exchange by 2014, it has said.
Marchionne already runs the two automakers as a single
group. But a full merger with Chrysler is seen increasing the
group's value, because the combined automaker would have more
cash to invest in expensive new technology like hybrid engines.
It needs these advancements to remain in the top league of
the world's automakers, alongside the likes of Volkswagen
and Toyota, analysts say.