Fiat to increase Chrysler stake

Chrysler repaid $7.6bn of government loans earlier this week
Fiat says it will buy the US government’s 6% stake in Chrysler, which will give the Italian carmaker a majority share in the US company.

After Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009, Fiat agreed with the US government to share technology and management in return for a 20% stake and has quickly built that up.

Buying out the government would give Fiat 52% ownership of Chrysler.

The price will be negotiated within 10 business days, Fiat said.

In a statement, Fiat notified the US Treasury that it was exercising its option to buy the government’s share.

Its stake is likely to increase to 57% by the end of the year, when it is expected to have met certain government targets.

On Tuesday, Chrysler said it had repaid $7.6bn (£4.7bn) in US and Canadian government loans, six years ahead of schedule.

Earlier this month, it reported a profit of $116m (£69m) in the first three months of the year, its first quarterly profit since it emerged from bankruptcy protection.

BBC © 2011

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