Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
September 24, 2013
Last night, Chrysler announced they are preparing to do an initial public offering of some of its shares. This comes as a result of Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and the UAW's Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (AKA the VEBA trust) not coming to an agreement concerning the 41.5 percent stake of Chrysler the trust holds.
Chrysler hasn't announced the amount of shares nor the price in their IPO documents, but it did set a maximum proposed offering price of $100 million. J.P. Morgan is the the investment bank for Chrysler's IPO. The shares will come from the VEBA trust.
Why is Chrysler doing an IPO? Fiat and the UAW have been arguing over how much those shares are worth and have taken this court for a judge to decide. By doing an IPO, this allows the two parties to possibly see how much those remaining shares are worth.
This move presents risk for both parties. Fiat and Chrysler have the most to lose in the IPO. The IPO complicates Sergio Marchionne's plan to merge the two companies.
“Completion of this offering will prevent or delay Fiat from meeting this objective. Fiat has informed us that it is reconsidering the benefits and costs of further expanding its relationship with us and the terms on which Fiat would continue the sharing of technology, vehicle architectures and platforms, distribution networks, production facilities and engineering and management resources,” said Chrysler in its filling.
If Fiat really wants Chrysler badly, they could boost their offer for the remaining shares. Also, Fiat and Chrysler are on the hook for IPO. The money made from selling the shares would go to VEBA.
The UAW also has a big risk. If the share prices are much lower than UAW expects, Fiat could go low on their offer.
“Chrysler’s IPO is being motivated by the need of the UAW health care trust to cash in on the company’s gains over the past several years to shore up their own cash reserves. This goes against Fiat’s desire for a 100-percent ownership stake in Chrysler, and in the end, may only serve as a negotiating tactic,” said Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez in a statement.
Marchionne says the IPO could come as early as the end of November, but the end of the year is not generally seen as a good time to take a company public.
If the IPO goes through, this would be the first time Chrysler has been publicly traded since 1998.
Press Release is on Page 2
Chrysler Group LLC Files Registration Statement for Proposed Initial Public Offering
September 23, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The common shares to be sold in this offering are proposed to be sold by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the "VEBA Trust"), which has exercised demand registration rights under a shareholders' agreement with Chrysler Group LLC. The VEBA Trust will receive all of the net proceeds from this offering.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will be the lead book-running manager of the offering. This offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, may be obtained by contacting J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, or by calling (866) 803-9204.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. Copies of the registration statement can be accessed through the SEC's website. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.