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Fiat to exercise option to further increase Chrysler stake

Italian carmaker Fiat SpA (BIT:F) said it intends to exercise an option to buy an additional 3.3% stake in Chrysler Group LLC from the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) for USD198m (EUR152.1m).

The planned purchase is part of a call option agreement from June 2009, which allows Fiat to buy 16.4% of Chrysler in tranches of up to 3.3% from 1 July 2012 until 30 June 2016.

Back in July 2012, the Italian firm, which currently holds 58.5% of Chrysler, announced plans to buy another 3.3% in the target for USD139.7m. Last September it launched a suit at a Delaware court against VEBA after the employee trust fund said that the proposed price was too low. A ruling is expected in the next several months, Fiat said.

VEBA bought its 41.5% stake in Chrysler in 2009 as part of the vehicles maker’s bailout.

If successful, the purchases of both 3.3% stakes would result in Fiat holding 65.17% of Chrysler.


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