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Fiat-GM stand-off could now become legal battle


Fiat-GM stand-off could now become legal battle

See you in court, that could be the outcome of failed negotiations between Fiat and General Motors to settle a sell-off stand-off. The two car companies have been squabbling over a legal agreement that GM has to buy the 90% of Fiat that it doesn’t already own.

GM does not want to take on Fiat with its losses and eight billion euros of debt. The Italian company does not want to be taken over by US managers who would drastically prune it in search of profit. What Fiat does want is a pay-off from GM of as much as two billion euros and that has reportedly been the focus of the talks between the two. Even though the deadline has been reached, the Italians have not yet gone ahead and exercised their right to force the purchase which suggests there could yet be further discussions. Without an agreement a court in New York would get to decide and car industry analysts say neither group would gain from acrimony and legal action. The Italian government is also unhappy at the prospect. The country’s labour minister said handing Fiat’s future to US lawyers would be disastrous. Fiat’s shares fell 4.5% when it was announced the dispute had not been settled.