According to an anonymous source, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has hired Ron Bloom to advise him on acquiring the rest of Chrysler.
Ron Bloom also helped President Barack Obama and his auto industry team and now he is a Lazard Ltd. Vice chairman. He will help Marchionne in trying to reach a deal with VEBA, the other Chrysler shareholder. While he will help Fiat’s CEO, he will also give advice to Detroit’s retirees fighting benefit cuts in the $18 billion bankruptcy of the city.
It’s been four years since Marchionne has been struggling to unify Fiat and Chrysler to become a powerful rival to VW, GM and Toyota. A fully integrated automaker will include mass market brands such as Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, as well as high-end Ferrari and Maserati cars. But until then Marchionne has to reach a deal with VEBA to solve the valuation dispute.
Chrysleris expected to file IPO documents this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a 16.6% stake. VEBA, which owns 41.5% of the US automaker, has the right to initiate the sale under the holding’s terms.
Bloom has previously collaborated with Marchionne in 2009 when he negotiated with the US Treasury to purchase a controlling stake in Chrysler. In 2009 Fiat purchased 20% of the US automaker and now the stake has been increased to 58.5%.