GM Seeks 30 Percent Stake in Fiat in Exchange for Opel

Here’s another proposal to add to the dizzying amount of proposed negotiations, mergers, partnerships and buyouts that have graced headlines in the last few months: GM is said to be seeking a 30-percent stake in Fiat in exchange for its European and Latin American operations.

The New York Times, citing two anonymous sources close to the negotiations, said that Fiat is willing to give GM anything less than a 10 percent stake, but the General is pushing for 30 percent. Fiat and GM had a partnership as recently as four years ago (the 2005 Grande Punto, pictured, is built off a platform co-developed by the two automakers)that GM paid $2 billion to get out of.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne already has made a bid for GM’s Opel unit, and reportedly has his eye on GM’s Latin American operation as well. GM management feels its Latin American operations could be very profitable for Fiat, and are therefore using them to sway Fiat into the trade for a 30-percent stake in the Italian company.

Marchionne is seeking to combine the operations of Fiat, Chrysler and Opel to create the world’s second-largest automaker behind Toyota, though German officials have voiced concern that his bid for Opel lacks necessary details. If Marchionne succeeds in his attempt to create the global conglomerate and agrees to give GM a 30-percent stake in the company, GM could possibly be in a position to leverage technologies and platforms from all three automakers.

Fiat has said Chrysler will exit bankruptcy in 60 days with new stakeholders including Fiat and the government, while GM’s decision regarding the fate of Opel is still being discussed with investors (including Fiat and Magna).

Source: The New York Times