After repeatedly delaying plans for a public stock offering and then suggesting Fiat might sever its ties with Chrysler if it went ahead with an IPO, the CEO of the two automakers now says he’s ready to put the process into overdrive.
“That horse left the barn,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters and analysts during a news conference called to discuss the maker’s third-quarter earnings. “We are now bent on executing the IPO. I hope that we can get it done by the end of this year.”
Fiat initially acquired a 20% stake in the U.S. maker following Chrysler’s emergence from bankruptcy in mid-2009. Through a series of steps it has increased its holdings to 58.5%, and Marchionne has repeatedly expressed Fiat’s interest in acquiring the remaining 41.5% held by a union retiree health care trust. But the two sides are battling over the worth of the United Auto Workers Union’s holdings in a Delaware court and the union is now pressing to let the market set the price with an IPO.