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Fiat Soon to Control Chrysler

Fiat Soon to Control Chrysler Image

The Italian car maker Fiat has big plans.  The company wants to become a truly global player in the automotive industry.  The announcement that Fiat will soon assume full control of American car manufacturer Chrysler certainly gives a lot of impetus to these plans.

On Thursday Fiat increased its stake in Chrysler to 46% when it acquired another 16% of shares in a deal believed to be worth $1.27bn.  According to Fiat bosses they hope to soon buy the additional 5% the company needs to take over control of the company.

The news came as somewhat of a surprise to most buyers, since it means Fiat will take over the American company a full year earlier than initially planned.

Customers will remember that the United States government had to bring in Fiat to help save the beleaguered American car maker when it was on the verge of collapse in 2009.  Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has been in charged of both companies since that time.

As soon as Fiat has assumed full control of Chrysler, the balance of that company's shares will most likely be sold via the stock market in order to generate cash to refund the U.S. government.

Analysts were excited about the lower than expected cost of the acquisition and the value of Fiat shares immediately started to increase after the announcement.

The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's had some cautionary words though.  A credit analyst at this company, Barbara Castellano, warned clients that 'This limits Fiat's financial flexibility and leaves it more exposed to a weaker-than-expected performance in 2011'.  She added that there were very real financial and operating risks involved for Fiat.

Author - Louise Hutchinson

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