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Late Thursday night the US Treasury Department agreed to sell its remaining 6% stake in Chrysler to Fiat, with a price tag of $500 million. And with this decision, not only does the Italian carmaker control Chrysler, but now the government finally gets rid of its involvement with the auto industry, once and for all. “As Treasury exits its investment in Chrysler, it’s clear that President Obama’s decision to stand behind and restructure this company was the right one,” said Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary.
And with Fiat claiming its share of the Big Two Point Five, we give them a toast of “viva gli sposi!” and hope this whirlwind European romance fares better than the “merger of equals.”
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
It’s been a dramatic week at Chrysler‘s financial department. Now that Chrysler’s paid off its bailout loan from the government, Fiat is looking to step in and take the government’s remaining share off its hands.
Fiat already holds a not-insubstantial 46 percent share in Chrysler. But even though Chrysler and the U.S. and Canadian governments have finally completed business, the two still hold a 6.6% share in equity stakes, with 1.7% of that belonging to Canada and the rest to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“This has been a memorable week for Chrysler as well as Fiat,” said Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler spokesman, “and it is consistent with the strategy of building a stronger partnership.”
Fiat and the Treasury Department have until June 10th to come to an agreement. If the deal goes through, Fiat will become a majority shareholder at 52.6%, and like most Americans, Chrysler will be able to point to their Italian heritage with gusto.
[Source: Detroit News]