Fiat mulls Ferrari IPO to boost Chrysler stake: report

Fiat logo is shown at the opening of a new dealership in Istanbul, May 6, 2010. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian automaker Fiat FIA.MI is considering listing part of its sports car unit Ferrari to raise cash in order to increase its stake in U.S. carmaker Chrysler, Il Corriere della Sera said on Sunday.

Citing information gathered at Fiat’s Turin headquarters Corriere said Fiat’s main priority is to find liquidity to allow it to fund the acquisition of 51 percent of Chrysler and listing Ferrari could be the way of achieving this goal.

A Fiat spokesman denied the report.

“There are no plans for any Ferrari listing,” he said.

Fiat, which owns 20 percent of U.S.-based Chrysler, is expected to increase its holding to 35 percent once it meets restructuring goals. It has an option to grow to 51 percent.

In a recent study Sanford C. Bernstein said it expected Fiat to raise its stake in Chrysler to 51 percent in 2011 or 2012.

According to Il Corriere, Fiat would keep a majority 51 percent stake in Ferrari which, it said, is worth $3.1 billion.

Fiat currently owns 85 percent of Ferrari. In September Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is also Chrysler CEO, said he wanted to return to an historic 90 percent level without however losing Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala which owns 5 percent.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Louise Heavens