Chrysler-Fiat Deal Hinges on Bailout Demands
A proposed deal that would give Fiat a 35 percent stake in Chrysler in exchange for small car technology will depend on what new demands are placed on the struggling American automaker when the Obama administration’s auto task force announces its future bailout strategy on Monday. Automotive News reports:
The boards of Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA have given executives approval to complete an alliance deal that hinges on the terms for additional aid for the Detroit automaker, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
The development comes before U.S. President Barack Obama’s expected announcement Monday on rescue funds for Chrysler and General Motors and more than two months after teams from Chrysler and Fiat began reviewing the proposed tie-up and developing a business plan for their combined operations.
Final terms of any deal will depend on what terms the U.S. autos task force headed by former investment banker Steve Rattner imposes on Chrysler as a condition for providing additional funding, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified because of the confidential nature of the talks.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has met with the auto task force twice and signaled his willingness to adjust the terms of the deal to satisfy the administration’s demands. The UAW supports the Fiat merger, which could save thousands of American jobs.
Ed Brayton is a reporter for TWI’s sister site, The Michigan Messenger.