Fiat refuses to buy out Chrysler completely

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says he is not willing to risk the Italian automaker's credit rating to take over ownership of Chrysler.

Fiat won't be buying Chrysler out completely, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne.

After several investing firms, including Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, threatened to lower Fiat's corporate credit rating below investment grade, Marchionne will cap Fiat's interest in Chrysler to 57 percent.

"We can't jeopardize the rating of Fiat to get this done," Marchionne said in Italy yesterday during the presentation of the Fiat Freemont, a European version of the Dodge Journey crossover.

Fiat will likely buy out the Canadian government's remaining stake in Chrysler by the end of the year, and has the US government's approval to buy shares of the United Auto Workers retiree trust's interest in Chrysler, expected to be 41.5 percent at that same time. But that option is not currently being discussed, according to Marchionne.

"The easiest route is to do an initial public offering [of Chrysler]," Marchionne said, expressing interest in putting shares of Chrysler on the market. But that won't happen this year. "The market is not there," he said.


Share on Facebook submit to reddit Share on Google+
Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.