MILAN Jan 30 Fiat Chief Executive
Sergio Marchionne said the Italian automaker is open to an
initial public offering of its U.S. unit Chrysler if it is
unable to buy the remaining 41 percent of the company directly
from the minority shareholder.
The minority owner, a United Auto Workers union retiree
healthcare trust, demanded that Chrysler register 16.6 percent
of company shares with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission earlier this month.
The trust, called VEBA, has the right to make the demand
because of the 2009 agreement that brought Chrysler out of
bankruptcy and left Fiat as part-owner.
"In the absence internally of any (solution) at Fiat (to buy
the stake), we will be more than happy to accompany VEBA to an
initial public offering," said Marchionne on Wednesday to
analysts on a conference call.
"I will let VEBA go and float, and then deal with the
Marchionne said Fiat does not plan to make any asset sales
to fund the purchase. But he did not rule them out.