Chrysler Group Files IPO, Complicating Merger With Fiat

Shares Will Be Offered by Retiree Healthcare Trust

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Sergio Marchionne
Sergio Marchionne

Chrysler Group, the carmaker controlled by Fiat, filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., complicating Sergio Marchionne's efforts to merge the two companies.

Chrysler's retiree healthcare trust is offering $100 million of shares, according to a regulatory filing today. The filing didn't say how many shares will be offered or at what price. The offering size is a placeholder amount used to calculate fees and may change.

Mr. Marchionne, who is chief executive officer of both Fiat and Chrysler, and the United Auto Workers' healthcare trust, are locked in a dispute over Chrysler's value. Fiat is seeking to buy the trust's stake and merge the two companies to create a global player with the scale to compete with industry leaders Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen.

A stock sale may delay a Fiat-Chrysler merger, Mr. Marchionne, 61, said on Sept. 13., adding that the two sides "are not getting closer, but we keep on talking."

An IPO might take place by the first quarter of 2014, and Fiat may then buy the fund's holding at the market price, he said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is managing the IPO, the filing shows. The healthcare trust is selling all of the shares in the offering, and neither Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler nor Fiat will receive any proceeds from the sale, according to the filing.

--Bloomberg News

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