(Adds comment, details, background)
MILAN/LONDON, July 24 PSA Peugeot Citroen
and Fiat Chrysler denied a Financial Times
report on Thursday that the companies were preparing a merger to
create the world's fifth-largest carmaker.
"PSA categorically denies every aspect of the FT report on a
merger with Fiat," a spokesman for the French carmaker said.
Fiat Chrysler said that no such discussions were underway.
Shares in both carmakers rose after the newspaper said that
merger talks had been held earlier this year, prior to Peugeot's
stake sale to China's Dongfeng Motor Group, and were
poised to resume.
The anonymously sourced report appeared a week after Fiat
and Volkswagen denied a story in Germany's Manager
Magazin suggesting they were in takeover talks.
Fiat has yet to execute its complex merger with Chrysler
after successfully completing its buyout of the U.S. automaker
at the start of 2014.
Peugeot is using the proceeds of its 3 billion euro ($4.1
billion) share sale, in which the French state and Dongfeng
acquired matching 14 percent stakes, to expand overseas and cut
costs in a bid to halt years of losses.
"The group has set out a strategic plan ... and that
exercise will be our focus for the next two to three years," the
Peugeot spokesman said.
"After that we will see whether further developments need to
($1 = 0.7425 Euros)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak in Milan, Laurence Frost and
Gilles Guillaume in Paris and Francesco Canepa in London;
Editing by Lionel Laurent and Jane Merriman)