Fiat May Float a Ferrari IPO to Finance a Bigger Stake in Chrysler

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Fiat May Float a Ferrari IPO to Finance a Bigger Stake in Chrysler Italian automaker Fiat reportedly is looking to acquire a bigger stake in Chrysler Group, and may seek to sell shares in its Ferrari sports-car unit in an initial public offering to help fund the purchase.

Fiat, which owns 20% of Chrysler, first wants to raise its stake in Ferrari to 90% by buying 5% held by Mubadala Development, Bloomberg News said, citing a report in Il Corriere della Sera.

Fiat would reportedly maintain a 51% controlling stake in Ferrari, which the Italian newspaper values at $3.1 billion.

A Fiat spokesman denied the report, Reuters said. "There are no plans for any Ferrari listing," the spokesman told the news agency.

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Fiat is expected to increase its holding in Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler to 35% once it meets restructuring goals, but has an option to grow that stake to 51%.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at a recent shareholders' meeting in Turin, Italy, that the company wasn't planning a Ferrari IPO, Bloomberg reported. At the Sept. 16 gathering, he also said that Fiat was still in negotiations to raise its Ferrari stake to 90%.

Fiat formed an alliance with Chrysler in 2009, enabling the then-troubled automaker to qualify for government-backed loans. Under Fiat management, the smallest of Detroit's carmakers is busily reinvigorating its aging vehicle lineup. Marchionne has vowed to redesign or freshen 75% of Chrysler's offerings by year's end.

Chrysler dealers will also sell Fiat vehicles beginning early next year: The last time Fiats were sold in the U.S. was 1984.
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