Fiat, PSA to win EU approval for $38 billion merger: sources

By Foo Yun Chee and Giulio Piovaccari BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler and PSA are set to win EU approval for their $38 billion merger to create the world's No.4 carmaker, people close to the matter said, as they strive to meet the industry's dual challenges of funding cleaner vehicles and the global pandemic. The green light from the European Commission would formalise the creation of Stellantis, a carmaking group that could tap hefty profits from selling Ram pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs to U.S

Reuters October 27, 2020 00:05:46 IST
Fiat, PSA to win EU approval for $38 billion merger: sources

Fiat PSA to win EU approval for 38 billion merger sources

By Foo Yun Chee and Giulio Piovaccari

BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler and PSA are set to win EU approval for their $38 billion merger to create the world's No.4 carmaker, people close to the matter said, as they strive to meet the industry's dual challenges of funding cleaner vehicles and the global pandemic.

The green light from the European Commission would formalise the creation of Stellantis, a carmaking group that could tap hefty profits from selling Ram pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs to U.S. drivers to fund the expensive development of zero-emission vehicles for sale in Europe and China.

The all-share merger announced late last year would unite brands such as Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Maserati with the likes of Peugeot, Opel and DS - while targeting annual cost cuts of 5 billion euros ($6 billion) without closing factories.

The Commission and Italian-American group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) declined to comment. France's PSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

PSA and FCA shares reversed losses after the Reuters story was published. PSA stock was last up 3.4% at 17.06 euros, while FCA shares were 3% higher at 11.43 euros.

To allay EU antitrust concerns, PSA has offered to strengthen Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp, with which it has a van joint venture, by ramping up production and selling it vans at close to cost price, the people said.

FCA and PSA will also allow their dealers in certain cities to repair rival brands.

Following feedback from rivals and customers, the carmakers only had to tweak the wording of their concessions, with no changes to the substance, the people said.

The companies did not have to use the COVID-19 pandemic to argue for the merger, they said, adding the EU decision could come by the end of the year, ahead of the official Feb. 2 deadline.

FCA and PSA have said they hope to complete the merger in the first quarter of 2021.

The challenge of switching to electric cars has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just last month, FCA and PSA restructured the terms of their deal to conserve cash and raised their targeted cost savings because of the economic fallout from the health crisis.

The companies have said about 40% of the savings will come from product-related expenses, 40% from purchasing and 20% from other areas, such as marketing, IT and logistics.

(1 euro = $1.1859)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels and Giulio Piovaccari in Milan, additional reporting by Gilles Guillaume in Paris, writing by Nick Carey; editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.