The union-related trust asked Fiat to more than double its offer for the 3.3% stake in Chrysler.
Fiat’s offer was $139.7 million for the 3.3% stake in Chrysler, a figure ‘substantially below fair market value’ according to the United Auto Workers-affiliated trust. The company said that if Fiat pays $342 million it can have the stake.
“Sale of the called shares at the price calculated by Fiat would constitute a transaction prohibited by applicable federal law,” the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust said.
Marchionne’s plan is to buy the entire 41.5% stake in Chrysler which the UAW trust owns, become the automaker’s single owner and one day merge the two companies. The trust said that by maximizing the value of Chrysler’s stake it will manage to cover rising healthcare costs for the automaker’s retirees.
To reach the sum of $139.7 million offered to VEBA, Fiat used a formula set up in 2009 when Fiat took control of Chrysler as it emerged from bankruptcy. The bankruptcy agreement allows Fiat to buy parts of the stake held by VEBA, which controls benefits for 824,000 retirees from Chrysler, Ford and GM. GM and the trust declined to comment on the countersuit, which was filed on Monday.