TURIN - Fiat S.p.A. could raise its stake in Chrysler to 46 percent from 30 percent now by June, two persons with direct knowledge of the matter told Automotive News Europe.
Talks with international investment banks on refinancing Chrysler's debt with the U.S. and Canadian governments are at an advanced stage, paving the way for Fiat to buy a further 16 percent of Chrysler by the end of June, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Thursday.
"This is the real goal Sergio Marchionne is working at," the paper said. "He wants to do it by June. He might be able to do it a bit earlier."
Fiat declined to comment on the report.
A Fiat source told ANE that "it is technically possible" for Fiat to get to 46 percent of Chrysler by June. Whether Fiat raises its Chrysler stake depends on how talks with the banks turn out.
On Monday, Marchionne, who runs both Fiat and Chrysler, said the U.S. automaker would refinance its onerous U.S. and Canadian government debt by June.
Also on Monday, he confirmed that Fiat wanted to get a majority stake in the U.S. group by the end of 2011, but did not elaborate on the steps needed to achieve this goal.