Fiat may sell up to $1.04 billion in shares image

Fiat may sell as much as $1.04 billion stock to reduce debt and gain local investors after merging with Chrysler Group LLC and listing the new company’s shares in the U.S.

The auto brand may have as many as 104.2 million shares when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV starts the New York Stock Exchange trading later on this year. At Thursday’s share price, that would be valued at 801 million euros, meaning $1.04 billion.

CEO Sergio Marchionne is combining Turin, Italy-based Fiat with its U.S. division to create a manufacturer able to compete with auto-industry leaders like General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. The company said that the investors withdrawing from Fiat before the merger submitted 60 million shares worth around €463.6 million at the exit price of €7.727 a share.

Fiat stated that the stock will be offered to other Fiat shareholders at that price in about a month from today, after which the carmaker will buy any shares that remain unsold. Investors owning Fiat stock are eligible to buy one exist-program share for every 19.35 already held starting September 9.

The buyout value was 7.3% less than the €500 million Fiat had estimated. Marchionne said in June that the automaker also plans to sell the stock it hold in treasury, which amounts to almost 44.2 million shares, or 3.5% of the total.

By Gabriela Florea