Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. hasn’t received any kind of offer for the company from firms in China or any other company, FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters as he observed the Italian Formula One Grand Prix.
Up until Marchionne fielded the questions about the rumors of a merger or a sale during the Grand Prix, FCA had refused to comment on the speculation that a deal was in the work. Marchionne also insisted that FCA is not working on any “big deal.”
Earlier reports suggested that Great Wall Motor Co. was considering buying FCA’s Jeep brand, but nothing has transpired since then.
Marchionne added that he remains focused on executing the carmaker’s business plan to 2018. Fiat’s share price jumped to record highs last month after reports of interest for the group or some of its brands from China.
(Great Wall may not seek Jeep takeover after all. For the story, Click Here.)
Marchionne, however, said FCA is pushing ahead with spinning off or selling its component business, while the car maker doesn’t have any big deal on the table and hasn’t received any approach for a combination.
“There are some activities at the component businesses which don’t belong to the car business and the group must be purified from those assets,” Marchionne told Bloomberg News.
One of the companies thought to have an interest in Magneti Marelli, FCA’s component operations, was South Korea’s Samsung.
(Click Here for our initial coverage of the Great Wall/Jeep story.)
However, Samsung is currently denying reports about its alleged intention to buy Magneti Marelli. Samsung purchased Harman, a maker of in-car entertainment systems, for $8.8 billion late last year. The deal between Samsung and the FCA was brought up based on the speculation that the tech giant was flexing its muscle to re-enter the automotive market it left 17 years ago, analysts said.
Of interest to Samsung could be Magneti Marelli’s entertainment, lighting and telematics technology.
Marchionne is now preparing the final five-year business plan before he leaves the car maker in 2019. He acknowledged that deeper changes might be coming when he said in July that the automaker will evaluate whether to spin off some businesses, including Jeep.
(To see why analysts think FCA’s various assets could be sold, Click Here.)
Marchionne has said one of goals eliminate $6.2 billion in debt by the end of next year.