Fiat Chrysler Sees New York Stock Market Listing October 13

   on August 30 2014 12:24 PM
Sergio Marchionne-May 6, 2014
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne answers questions from the media during the FCA Investors Day at the Chrysler world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., May 6. Reuters/Rebecca Cook

RIMINI, Italy (Reuters) -- Fiat Chrysler aims to list shares in the newly merged carmaker in New York Oct. 13, CEO Sergio Marchionne said Saturday, adding that a decision on any capital increase would be made at the end of that month. He was speaking a day after the merger between Fiat and its U.S unit Chrysler cleared its last remaining hurdle.

Fiat bought out Chrysler at the start of 2014 and both operate as one firm. Marchionne wants to incorporate the two into Dutch-registered entity Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, paving the way for the U.S. listing he said is needed to help finance a €48 billion ($63.05 billion), five-year growth plan.

“The most likely date for the listing in the U.S. is October 13,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Rimini.

Marchionne is counting on the merger and the listing to help pay for a relaunch of its Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, the export of Jeeps globally, and the taking of all three to fast-growing Asian markets, where the group is currently weak. He said the five-year business plan for the world’s No. 7 auto group presented in May did not foresee a cash call.

“But all decision[s] on any capital increase will be taken by the board of FCA at the end of October,” he said. He also confirmed the group’s full-year guidance for 2014, adding the U.S. market was going “incredibly well.”

Targets to grow net profit fivefold and sales by 60 percent within five years look ambitious, some analysts say, arguing the company will have to raise capital to achieve them.

Fiat had €18.5 billion ($24.3 billion) in cash at the end of June, but almost €32 billion ($42.04 billion) in debt. Its financing costs are high, and margins are weakening.

Fiat has so far ruled out asset sales, but may go for a mandatory convertible bond. Marchionne had previously said any decision on financing would be taken only after FCA was created.

The merger plan could have failed had the carmaker been asked to pay more than €500 million ($656.8 million) to dissenting investors who tendered their shares, exercising a legal right triggered by Fiat’s decision to move its registered offices away from Italy.

Fiat said Friday it was finishing a count of shares for which cash exit rights had been validly exercised, but it could already say the €500 million limit would not be exceeded, based on data calculated so far. It plans to publish the final count by Sept. 4.

(Reporting by Paolo Biondi; Writing by Silvia Aloisi, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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