Fiat making big moves at Chrysler


DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Fiat S.p.A. has options to increase its stake in Chrysler Group LLC to more than 70 percent as the U.S. government seeks to exit its investments in the auto industry.

Fiat has an option for 12 months to buy the U.S. Treasury’s remaining stake after it repays debts to the government, Chrysler said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chrysler said in April it would issue new debt to repay the government loans, allowing Fiat to exercise an option to increase its stake to 46 percent from 30 percent.

The Treasury holds an 8.6 percent stake in Chrysler, the company said April 12. That amount would be reduced when Chrysler meets the final of three performance milestones that each give Turin, Italy-based Fiat an additional 5 percent stake. The final goal, to build a vehicle that gets 40 mpg in the U.S., should be met this year, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both automakers, has said.

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