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US: Marchionne’s departure lets Fiat attempt merger deal

 |  April 12, 2018

According to Bloomberg, Sergio Marchionne will retire as chief executive officer at Fiat Chrysler’s after this year’s annual shareholders meeting on Friday, April 13, in Amsterdam. His pending exit may open the door for the next big deal.

Marchionne’s plans to hand Fiat management over to one of his aides has long been flagged, but what happened beyond that is a mystery. The carmaker, referred to as FCA by investors, isn’t going to provide much insight before presenting its plans for the post-Marchionne era at a June investor meeting, stoking speculation.

“This is clearly the end of an era and maybe more, as Marchionne is not just the mastermind behind FCA, he is FCA,” said Giuseppe Berta, a professor at Bocconi University and former head of Fiat’s archives. “After he is gone, FCA will have to change, and this opens room for a big transformational deal.”

While Fiat has become competitive thanks to Marchionne’s maneuvering, crowned by the 2014 combination with Chrysler, it still lags global giants Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Size matters in the mass-market auto industry amid pressure to make massive investment in autonomous driving and electric vehicles, and a deal could be in the interest of the Agnelli family, the Italian industrial clan that controls Fiat and has been diversifying away from the volatile car industry.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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