Rumors of a possible buyer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have popped up again. Late last week, the Asia Times learned from sources that Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chung Mong-koo is waiting for "an expected decline" in shares of FCA before launching a takeover bid attempt. This is expected to launch sometime between the summer and "prior to the Fiat-Chrysler annual shareholders’ meeting in May 2019."
Reportedly, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne drew Hyundai's attention by using interest from Great Wall Motor.
The deal is being spurred by Paul Singer, the principal of Elliott Management. Singer made headlines in April by pressuring Hyundai to merge with Mobius, their parts' division to create a new holding company and demanded the company to pay investors more than $10 billion in “excess cash.”
Marchionne has been trying his damnedest to try and find a merger partner for the past few years.
- Tried to work with General Motors CEO Mary Barra about possibly merging the two companies in 2015, but was turned down.
- Rumors about possibly merging with Volkswagen, but was told no.
- Various Chinese automakers considered bidding on FCA, but most deny it.
- Great Wall was considering only purchasing Jeep. However, plans for this were put on ice
Here is the question we find ourselves wondering about, why would Hyundai consider buying FCA? Aside from getting their hands on Jeep and Ram Trucks (FCA's money makers), FCA would be gaining the most from this possible deal.
To throw another wrench into this, Hyundai is currently in the midsts of a reorganization effort and part of that includes possibly replacing Mong-koo who is 80 years old.
Both FCA and Hyundai declined to comment.