Fiat Increasing Chrysler Stake

Italy’s Fiat exercised an option to purchase more shares of Chrysler Group even though it has not taken possession of two previous groups of shares because of a price dispute.

Fiat, which currently owns 58.5% of U.S. based Chrysler, has exercised numerous options to purchase shares since 2012, as part of the plan to takeover its partner in the U.S. and establish an automaker large enough to compete globally.

Fiat won the right to buy the groups of shares in U.S. based Chrysler in 2009 when it agreed to pull the business out of bankruptcy.

However, it has not been able to increase its share as it has been arguing over the price that it has to pay the union trust in the U.S. that owns the 41.5% of shares that remain in Chrysler.

On Monday, Fiat nevertheless, announced it exercised its option to purchase its third tranche, which represents 3.3% of the outstanding equity in Chrysler in an offering of $254.7 million.

The options to purchases the groups of shares were the condition Fiat agreed to when it took over Chrysler from the bankruptcy court to attempt to revive it.

Fiat has the right to exercise options to purchase tranches of shares every 180 days that are worth an additional 3.3% of Chrysler until the end of June 2016 and on July 1 was its third time it exercise such a right.

When Fiat exercises its option through 2016, it will have purchased another 16.6% of Chrysler and have a total share of 75.1%. It is also alternatively trying to find a way to finance the entire acquisition in one lump purchase.

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