Fiat Chrysler Says Will Spin Off Car-Part Unit, No Big Deal on Table – Bloomberg

Posted: Saturday, September 02, 2017

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will push ahead with separating the parts business, while the carmaker doesn’t have any big deal on the table and hasn’t received any approach for a combination.

“There are some activities at the component businesses which don’t belong to the car business and the group must be purified from those assets,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg News in Monza, near Milan, on Saturday. Marchionne, who is also CEO of Ferrari NV, attended the Formula One qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix. He also said he hadn’t received any approach or offer for Fiat Chrysler.

Sergio Marchionne

Marchionne, 65, is preparing his final five-year business plan before he leaves the carmaker in 2019. He acknowledged that deeper changes might be coming when he said in July that the automaker will evaluate whether to spin off some businesses. The company is pushing to eliminate 4.2 billion euros ($5 billion) in debt by the end of next year as part of plans to make at least 4.7 billion euros of adjusted net profit.

Marchionne didn’t exclude that the carmaker could eventually start talks for a tie-up before he leaves the helm of Fiat Chrysler in 2019. “That’s a good question. I don’t know as it is difficult to make forecasts for the next two years. What it is important is our 2018 plan and results are coming.”

Marchionne has long been a vocal proponent of consolidation, arguing that the industry wastes money by developing multiple versions of the same technology. Those pressures have only intensified as countries such as the U.K. and France set deadlines to eliminate combustion engines, while self-driving technologies and ride-hailing services threaten to upend the auto industry’s traditional business model.

‘Too Immature’

Fiat Chrysler was considering options including separating components operations, which include Magneti Marelli SpA, as well as its upscale Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands, Bloomberg reported on Aug. 23, citing people familiar with the discussions. The luxury-car operations could be worth as much as 7 billion euros ($8.3 billion), while Magneti Marelli and other parts businesses are valued at up to 5 billion euros, analysts estimate.

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