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Fiat Planning to Buy Remaining U.S., Canadian Shares in Chrysler

Italian maker will push well past 50% stake.

by on May.31, 2011

CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buys the Chrysler shares now held by the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Fiat intends to buy the remaining shares in Chrysler now held by both the U.S. and Canadian governments, said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both the American and Italian automakers.

The announcement followed a discussion with Canadian officials and came just days after Chrysler finished paying back $7.5 billion in government loans it received during its 2009 bailout.  By refinancing those loans, Fiat was already able to boost its stake in the American automaker to 46%.

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The Canadian and Ontario governments took a 1.7% stake in Chrysler in return for their help.  The U.S., meanwhile, currently holds a 6.6% stake in the carmaker.  The White House has long indicated its desire to get out of the automotive business and is expected to sell off its holdings as soon as practical.  Canadian officials, however, stressed that they want to see how things go with the American sale before deciding whether to also accept Fiat’s offer.