Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is again delaying the much-anticipated spin-off of its high-profile Ferrari subsidiary.
Originally announced last October, following the official merger of Italy’s Fiat and U.S. maker Chrysler, the move was meant to unlock the value in the luxury brand and help separate it from FCA’s more mainstream brands.
The public offering of 10% of Ferrari’s stock originally was supposed to take place during the first half of this year, but was then pushed to the third quarter. It is now expected to occur during the fourth quarter, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced during a news conference in Venice.
The official reason for the latest delay is that such a spin-off cannot occur under British tax law until at least one year after the official completion of the Fiat-Chrysler merger, which took place on Oct. 12, 2014.
FCA currently owns 90% of Ferrari. It still says it intends to offer 10% as part of an IPO for the supercar brand. It will distribute the rest to Fiat Chrysler shareholders.
(Fiat Chrysler expects to complete Ferrari spin-off next summer. Click Here for details.)
Marchionne has been running the Modena-based sports car manufacturer since long-time boss Luca di Montezemolo was forced out last year. The two reportedly disagreed over fundamental strategy, notably how much to allow Ferrari to grow.
Ranked as the world’s most powerful brand, Ferrari has long limited production to hold up the value of its products. But with ultra-luxury competitors experiencing major growth, Marchionne now wants to gradually double production to 10,000 vehicles annually.
(Click Here for details about Ferrari turbocharging its new 488 GTB.)
The luxury division has also seen a sharp surge in demand for its own subsidiary, Maserati, after years of struggle. Together, sales of the two brands topped 40,000 last year.
Maserati is expanding to see even faster growth in the coming years with the launch of its first high-performance SUV model, the Levante.
(To see more about Hyundai adding a full-size SUV to its line-up, Click Here.)
Marchionne long resisted the spin-off of Ferrari and appeared to relent only after it became clear that the supercar brand needed new funding to grow. Some observers have questioned if the CEO is fully committed to the move, however, or might seek some revisions to the plan before the IPO is formally put into place.