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SGS sale previews Fiat-Chrysler deal

SGS sale previews Fiat-Chrysler deal
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An big asset sale by the parent company of Fiat has raised 1.5 billion euros, and analysts believe it is a sign that the Italian carmaker is laying the ground for purchasing the rest of US firm Chrysler.

Fiat’s Chairman John Elkann seems to have decided to sell the 15 percent stake in Swiss industrial inspection and testing services company SGS to raise enough money to maintain its shareholding in the future merged carmaker.

Fiat has said it wants to buy the 41.5 percent of Chrysler it does not already own. That is likely to cost around four billion dollars but the final bill has not yet been determined. It also wants to refinance the two carmakers’ debt.

Elkann also heads Exor, the holding company of Fiat’s founding Agnelli family. He recently signaled his determination that Exor’s stake in Fiat would not be watered down in the Chrysler merger, which Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has said may be partly funded by a share issue.

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