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Fiat exercises option to buy 3.3 percent of Chrysler

July 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM
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TURIN, Italy, July 8 (UPI) -- Italian automaker Fiat said it had exercised an option to buy 3.3 percent of Chrysler's outstanding shares Monday, a price disagreement notwithstanding.

The Wall Street Journal reported Fiat has yet to close on two previous purchasing options, as it has not agreed on prices with the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association that owns the 41.5 percent of Chrysler Fiat does not own.

When Fiat closes on the options, it will own 75.1 percent of Chrysler, the Journal said. As it stands now, it owns 58.5 percent, a process that started when Fiat helped Chrysler emerge from bankruptcy in 2009.

"We've exercised the third option. If VEBA was to accept the payment, we [will] close [a deal] in weeks," Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne in Turin, Italy, told reporters.

Fiat is expected to continue to exercise options, which are available every six months through June 30, 2016.

At each six-month interval, Fiat can exercise the option to purchase 3.3 percent of Chrysler.

For the current tranche, Fiat has offered $254.7 million, the Journal said.

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