Dongfeng is poised to sell down stake in PSA to French investor
PSA Group’s Chinese shareholder is poised to sell some of its 12% stake in the Peugeot manufacturer to a French investor as part of the carmaker’s planned merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, according to people familiar with the matter.
The buyer of shares owned by Dongfeng Motor Corp. isn’t a French state-owned entity or the Peugeot family, said one of the people, who also asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. Dongfeng selling shares in PSA could lead to the dismantling of the two automakers’ joint venture in China, another person said.
Representatives of Dongfeng, PSA and Fiat declined to comment. Dongfeng is one of PSA’s biggest shareholders along with the French state and the Peugeot family.
Dongfeng’s stake in PSA has attracted attention because of the possibility it could interfere with U.S. regulatory approval for the deal. U.S. economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last month the Trump administration intends to review the proposed merger because of the Chinese carmaker’s stake in the combined company.
PSA and Fiat sketched out their plan six weeks ago to create a regional powerhouse. The deal is expected to be reviewed by PSA and Fiat boards on Tuesday and a formal agreement could be unveiled on Wednesday, Bloomberg News has reported. The French government and the Peugeot family have given their backing to the deal, people familiar with the matter said.
Dongfeng got its 12% holding in PSA as part of a 2014 deal that gave struggling PSA better access to the Chinese market.
Under the preliminary terms of the deal with Fiat, the Peugeot family would be able to increase its stake in the new company by buying shares from France or from Dongfeng.