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Chrysler Prepares IPO in Defiance to Fiat
Chrysler has filed for a public stock offering this Monday, and this indicates more than that the company is back on track after a brutal 2007-2008, which required bailouts and other things. Certainly they’ve seen explosive growth, but the stock is held by the Chrysler Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) and was bought at considerable risk during the 2007 crisis. Meanwhile Fait, and its chief executive Sergio Marchionne, would like to grab that 41 percent to complement their own 58.5 percent holding of Chrysler’s shares: holding 100 percent would allow them to integrate the companies and cut costs, something especially desirable for Fiat, in a European market that hasn’t fared as well as the American resurgence.
The problem with that is VEBA seems to be asking too much for the shares, and they don’t think it’s worth quite as much as their asking. This is why VEBA is asking for an IPO, to get a sense of how much the shares are worth, and to start cashing in on retirement money.
“It’s a very, very high-stakes battle going on here,” said Harley Shaiken, professor at the University of California, Berkley. “Both sides are being quite strategic, and we’ll see how it plays out.”
Listed on the prospectus for counsel is Scott Miller, of Sullivan & Cromwell, who is based in New York, and who has advised Fiat and Marchionne regarding their grabbing of stocks in 2009 and 2011.
William Fogg, a managing partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s corporate practice, and corporate partner William Rogers Jr are giving advice to JPMorgan Underwriters regarding the possible offering, as reported by the Am Law Daily.
The wrangling and potential offer may be mere stratagems, but it seems nobody is taking this lightly, and those who were willing to risk investing in the company when it was at its worst fully plan on sharing in the company’s subsequent success.