MILAN, Italy -- Umberto Agnelli, head of the family who controls troubled Italian carmaker Fiat S.p.A., is likely to take part in a meeting between top Fiat managers and creditor banks on Saturday, a financial source said Thursday.
Umberto Agnelli, widely expected to become Fiat group chairman this year, had in the past entertained an idea of selling Fiat's auto division bur recently has been keeping cards close to his chest.
Fiat and its creditor banks are due to meet Saturday to discuss next steps in the embattled company's turnaround plan amid media reports that the banks had requested from Agnelli and Fiat's top management clarification of Fiat's plans and its talks with U.S. partner General Motors.
"The chairman of the (family) financial holding is one of those to whom the letter was addressed so it is very likely that he would take part in the meeting," the source said.
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.
GM bought 20 percent of Fiat Auto in 2000 and agreed a put option that allows Fiat to force the U.S. giant to buy the other 80 percent from 2004.
The prospect of Fiat giving up the chance of selling the remaining stake 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.