Exor SpA, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, which also controls Fiat, sold its stake in SGS SA to Groupe Bruxelles Lambert for 2 billion euro.
Exor will use the money from the sales of the 15% holding in SGS SA for new ‘investment opportunities’. The company announced last week it will support the merger between Fiat and Chrysler, but it is too early to say if it will continue to invest in the automaker to keep its controlling stake after the merger will be complete.
“We have been privileged to have been able to support SGS throughout these past 13 years,” Exor Chairman John Elkann said in the statement. “We are confident the company will continue to develop.”
Currently Fiat is in talks with several banks for a $10 billion in financing to purchase the rest of Chrysler stake it does not own. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is also SGS’s chairman and he served as CEO for the company from January 2002 until 2004 when he took top spot at Fiat.
Fiat prepares a 2-step deal, which means that it will first buy the rest of Chrysler stake and then refinance its debt in a planned merger with the US automaker. The Italian automaker plans to create a new US company, merge Chrysler and Fiat into it and then issue shares in the combined entity.