MILAN/DETROIT — On New Year’s Day, Fiat announced an agreement with the VEBA Trust that calls for its wholly owned subsidiary, Fiat North America LLC, to acquire all of the VEBA Trust’s equity membership interests in Chrysler Group LLC. The transaction, which is expected to close on or before Jan. 20, will deliver the remaining 41.46% of Chrysler Group to Fiat North America.
According to the agreement, the VEBA Trust will receive aggregate consideration of $3,650 million consisting of a special distribution payable by Chrysler Group to its members (in an aggregate amount of approximately $1,900 million. And at closing, FNA will pay the remainder of approximately $1,750 million in cash purchase consideration to the VEBA Trust.
Fiat expects to fund the $1,750 million in cash from available cash on hand, while the Chrysler Group expects to fund the special distribution from available cash on hand.
Additionally, Chrysler Group and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) have agreed to a memorandum of understanding under Chrysler Group’s existing collective bargaining agreements to put up $700 million in four equal annual payments to the VEBA trust after the sale closes. Chrysler Group expects to fund the initial contribution to the VEBA Trust from available cash on hand.
The UAW also agreed to certain commitments to continue supporting Chrysler Group’s industrial operations and the implementation of the Fiat-Chrysler alliance.
“I have been looking forward to this day from the very moment that we were chosen to assist in the rebuilding of a vibrant Chrysler back in 2009,” said John Elkann, chairman of Fiat. “The work, commitment and achievement I have witnessed from Chrysler over the past four and a half years is nothing short of exceptional, and I take this opportunity to officially welcome each and every one of the people in the Chrysler organization to the integrated Fiat-Chrysler world.”
Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat and chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group, added: “In the life of every major organization and its people, there are defining moments that go down in the history books. For Fiat and Chrysler, the agreement just reached with the VEBA is clearly one of those moments. I will be forever grateful to the leadership team for the support and unwavering dedication shown to the integration project that today has taken its final shape. The unified ownership structure will now allow us to fully execute our vision of creating a global automaker that is truly unique in terms of mix of experience, perspective and know-how.”