The Italian carmaker announced yesterday that the planned stock market listing of Fiat’s U.S. unit Chrysler would not take place this year, prolonging the uncertainty over its chances of buying out the rest of the company.
Chrysler’s board of directors “determined that it will not be practicable for Chrysler Group to launch and complete an initial public offering prior to the end of 2013,” Fiat said in a statement.
The delay represents yet another obstacle to Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne’s plan for the Fiat-Chrysler alliance, one of the centerpieces of the Obama administration’s 2009 restructuring of the U.S. auto industry.
The initial public offering was expected to help settle a long-running spat over the U.S. automaker’s value between Fiat and a retiree healthcare trust tied to the United Auto Workers union, which owns 41.5 % of Chrysler.
The company said it expected Chrysler to work toward an IPO in the first quarter of 2014, but added it could not say if and when such an offer would happen, as it would depend on “market conditions and other relevant considerations.”
In a regulatory filing late Monday, Chrysler said it intended to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CGC.” The company also added five other underwriters, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which with JPMorgan Chase & Co, will lead the IPO. The additional bookrunners are Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG.
The Chrysler IPO process is already highly unusual because Marchionne has publicly said an IPO would undermine his plans to merge the two companies. But his inability to secure a deal with the UAW trust fund made an IPO impossible to avoid.