Fiat Sues Trust For Not Selling 3.3% of Chrysler image

Fiat sued a healthcare trust that owns part of Chrysler, filling the lawsuit in a US court.

According to the Italian automaker, the trust broke its obligation to sell a small stake in Chrysler after the two parties disagreed on price. Fiat was planning to pay $139.7 million (108 million euro) for its stake in Chrysler, but the trust aims at maximizing the value of its stake to be able to cover increasing healthcare prices for the U.S. automaker’s retirees.

According to Fiat, which owns 58.5% of Chrysler, the trust was forced to sell 3.3% of the automaker on July 11th, according to the lawsuit filed with the Court of the Chancery of Delaware. The Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association bought a stake in Chrysler in 2009, part of the automaker’s bankruptcy restructuring.

The agreement made in 2009 with the US Treasury, gives Fiat the right to exercise call options to buy parts of the stake owned by he healthcare trust. And so it did on July 11th when Fiat told VEBA and the US Treasury it wants to buy 3.3% of Chrysler.

“At no time has the VEBA disputed that Fiat has the right to exercise its call options to purchase Chrysler membership units,” Fiat said in the 11-page court filing. “Instead, the dispute between the parties relates solely to the appropriate price to be paid by Fiat.”