Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Chrysler IPO may delay merger with Fiat


(By Denis Greenan).
Turin, September 13 - Chrysler's planned initial
public offering could delay its merger with parent Fiat, the CEO
of both companies, Sergio Marchionne, said Friday.
"It could do," Marchionne answered a journalist.
The Chrysler IPO is possible by the end of 2013 but "more
likely" in the first quarter of 2014, Marchionne said.
Chrysler's IPO is set to take place in New York.
Chrysler's minority shareholder, a union-affiliated
healthcare trust, VEBA, decided in January to sell part of its
Chrysler stake in a public offering.
Fiat owns 58.5% of Chrysler and wants to buy VEBA's
remaining stake.
Marchionne said he did not believe their positions on the
buyout were getting closer.
He said talks were "ongoing" and scoffed at reports VEBA
wanted $5 billion, saying "it should buy a lottery ticket".
Marchionne added that new Alfa Romeo models were in the
pipeline after Fiat's one-billion-euro investment in Turin's
long-stagnant and former flagship Mirafiori plant to produce
Maserati SUVs.
"We'll announce them at the right time," he said.
Fiat will issue an update on its and US unit Chrysler's 2013
targets at the end of October, Marchionne said.
He said there were "positive and negative signs".
The outlook for the auto sector next year is not good in
Europe or in Italy, he said.
"I do not see a huge improvement for the European car market
next year.
"I have not changed my mind on the car market".
In July the Turin and Detroit carmaker confirmed targets
for 2013.
Turnover should come in between 88 and 92 billion euros;
trading profit at 4 to 4.5 billion euros; net profits between
1.2 and 1.5 billion euros; and net industrial debt around 7
billion euros, it said.
Fiat Chairman John Elkann on Friday said the
one-billion-euro revamp of Mirafiori "confirms our commitment to
Fiat reached a deal with unions on Mirafiori on September 4.
Marchionne said at the time the agreement made it possible
to "immediately start the investment plan necessary to guarantee
the production and employment future of the Mirafiori plant".
He said it was a "brave" decision that confirmed Fiat's
"commitment" to its Italian operations.
The deal came after a long period of tension in which Fiat
threatened that it could drop its commitments to investing in
Italian plants due to problems in its industrial relations here.
In July Marchionne blasted business in Italy saying,
"conditions in industrial Italy remain impossible" and
threatened to move production of new models of Alfa Romeo
vehicles abroad.
Fiat has been engaged in a long tussle with the left-wing
FIOM union over its drive to introduce more flexible working
practices in Italy to make the plants profitable.
But after the Mirafiori deal the head of the UIL union,
Luigi Angeletti, said Marchionne had guaranteed that investments
would be made.
Marchionne told union representatives that workers at
Mirafiori would be temporarily laid off in October and put on
CIG benefits while production lines are made ready for it to
produce a Maserati SUV model.
Ferdinando Uliano of the FIM union said the carmaker also
planned to produce another model at Mirafiori in addition to
the Maserati SUV, while stressing that the company had not said
when this would happen.
The FIM-CISL secretary for Turin, Claudio Chiarle, said
that, after investments at the city's Grugliasco plant that now
makes the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models, "It is (now)
Mirafiori's turn, thus completing Fiat's industrial strategy of
focusing on high end and luxury brands to give full employment
and high profit margins.
"It is a fundamental step for the workers of Mirafiori and
Fiat's suppliers in Turin after years of CIG benefits,
sacrifices, and economic suffering, which have prevented many
Turin families from building a future, but who today can see
new, concrete prospects," Chiarle added.
FIM Secretary General Giuseppe Farina, meanwhile, said
Marchionne has also confirmed Fiat would maintain its
commitments to invest in other Italian factories.

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