MILAN, Italy -- Fiat will meet with its creditor banks Friday to discuss the next step in the embattled company's turnaround plan, a financial source said Tuesday.
"The meeting will be on Friday, once (CEO Alessandro) Barberis returns from the United States," the source said. "Until then, I don't expect anything new from (Fiat)."
Barberis was due to meet senior managers of Fiat's tractor-making arm CNH Global in Chicago this week. He had no plans to hold discussions with Fiat's partner General Motors while he was in the United States.
Fiat and GM are believed to have discussed the possibility of altering Fiat's option to sell the rest of its loss-making car arm to GM from next year and the banks last week demanded an update on the state of talks.
Fiat is reported to have asked for a cash injection of about 2 billion euros in return for changing the option.
But the prospect of Fiat giving up the chance of selling the remaining 80 percent of Fiat Auto to GM has alarmed the banks -- led by Sanpaolo IMI, Capitalia, UniCredito and Intesa -- which consider the option to be a crucial escape clause for the group.
GM already owns 20 percent of Fiat. Reports also have said the start date of the option might be delayed from 2004 as originally agreed.
Fiat's board also is set to consider a revival plan from financier Roberto Colaninno at the next board meeting, Umberto Agnelli, who heads Fiat's controlling family, confirmed Tuesday.
"I believe (Chairman Paolo) Fresco wants to put it before the board," Agnelli said in response to a question at a ceremony in Rome. A board meeting to approve fourth-quarter results has been set for Feb. 28.
Colaninno has said he would seek the CEO position in Fiat in exchange for injecting billions of euros. Industry Minister Antonio Marzano said Colaninno, rich from the sale of his stake in Telecom Italia, planned to invest 2.5 billion euros.
Agnelli described Fiat's meeting with the banks as routine, without confirming the date.