Fiat offers $125-million for Canadian stake in Chrysler image

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to buy the Canadian government’s 1.7-percent share in the automaker for about $125-million. The proposal has still not been accepted, as the Canadian authorities want to see how the 6.6% stock transfer in the US goes before making a decision.

“We presented an offer last Thursday for the Canadian government stake,” Marchionne told reporters in Venice on the sidelines of a conference.

The US Treasury agreed on Thursday to sell Fiat its remaining 6% equity stake in Chrysler for USD 500 million, raising Fiat’s holding to 52% when the deal is completed.

The Italian automaker already has 52 percent ownership of the company, after it paid $500 million for the six percent stake held by the U.S. Treasury.

Marchionne had said on Friday an IPO of Chrysler, which would allow the VEBA to cash out of its position in the company, was more likely in 2012 than this year.
VEBA is in no rush to sell and is looking to get the best possbile return, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Chrysler Group repaid $1.7-billion in loans last week and has paid $238-million in interest to Ottawa and Ontario. Pre-bankruptcy Chrysler paid $6-million (U.S.) in interest.