Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merger official Sunday

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

All hurdles for Fiat SpA to merge with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV have been cleared.

The Italian automaker on Tuesday announced the merger is expected to become effective Sunday, following no creditors filing objections before an Oct. 4 deadline.

FCA common shares, as previously announced by Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the Italian stock market on Monday. Fiat said both markets have approved the listing, subject to regulatory conditions such as completion of the merger and publication of documents.

The new company and stock listing have been in the making since Fiat took stake in Chrysler in June 2009 as part of the $85 billion automotive bailout, which forced the Auburn Hills automaker and crosstown rival General Motors Co. into government-backed bankruptcies.

FCA was announced by Marchionne in January following Chrysler becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat after a $4.35 billion deal with the United Auto Workers union trust fund that pays health care bills for retirees, which owned a minority stake in Chrysler following the auto bailout.

The NYSE listing will mark the first time the U.S. public will be able to buy into a Chrysler entity since 2007, when it was owned by Germany’s Daimler AG.

Since announcing aspirations to create FCA, officials have continually touted that integrating Chrysler and Fiat to create the world’s seventh-largest automaker would be beneficial for both companies.

“A new chapter of our story begins with the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,” said John Elkann, chairman of Fiat, in a statement in January. “A journey that started over a decade ago, as Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations, each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths.”

The last day of trading for Fiat on the Italian stock market in Milan is expected to be Friday.

FCA — incorporated in the Netherlands, with its official headquarters in London — will be traded primarily on the NYSE, with a secondary listing in Milan.

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