Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to be automaker’s new name

Fiat and Chrysler will become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange if Fiat’s shareholders approve the proposal.

The proposal, approved by the board of directors, comes eight days after Fiat closed its purchase of the Chrysler shares it didn’t already own. Fiat, which became Chrysler’s controlling shareholder in 2009, acquired the remaining 41.5% of Chrysler shares owned by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust on Jan. 21 for $4.35 billion.

“Today is one of the most important days in my career at Fiat and Chrysler. Five years ago we began to cultivate a vision that went beyond industrial cooperation to include full cultural integration at all levels,” Marchionne said in a statement. “An international governance structure and listings will complete this vision and improve access to global markets bringing obvious financial benefits.”

Under the proposal, Fiat shareholders will receive one share of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in return for each Fiat share they hold.

■ Related: Fiat earnings fall short, but Chrysler’s 2013 profit rose to $1.8 billion

■ Related: Chrysler workers to get profit sharing, performance bonuses for 2013

All of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with an additional listing on the Milan Stock Exchange.

The board also is proposing that the company be incorporated in the United Kingdom for tax purposes. The board said the incorporation location is not expected to affect the taxes the automaker owes in other countries where it does business. The transaction is subject to approval by Fiat’s board of directors and shareholders.

Fiat’s board also wants to establish Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., incorporated in the Netherlands, as the parent company of the two automakers.

Fiat’s board expects to complete the transactions by the end of this year.

“A new chapter of our story begins with the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a journey that started over a decade ago,” Fiat Chairman John Elkann said in a statement. “Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths.”

Marchionne has said the location of the new company’s headquarters would have little impact on employment or investment decisions. That’s because the two companies are already managed by a 22-member group executive council whose executives are evenly divided among North America, Europe and Latin America.

Marchionne divides his time among those three continents, often spending more time on an airplane than any one country.

“Talking about a headquarters is almost an anachronistic term,” Marchionne said. “We live in a world where power travels.”

Nevertheless, most people still view the location of a corporate headquarters as a symbol of power that has implications for a company’s community involvement and corporate giving.

As read on: http://www.freep.com/article/20140129/BUSINESS0103/301290078/Fiat-Chrysler-Marchionne-UAW-board-of-directors

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