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by Brett Davis

Fiat has just bought the last government-held stakes in Chrysler LLC from the US Treasury and the Canadian government, putting Fiat’s at 53.5 percent ownership.

Fiat purchased the remaining six percent stake off the US Treasury for $500 million last month, as released in a US regulatory filing. Fiat also had to pay for the US government’s right to buy stakes off the United Auto Worker’s union, at a price of $75 million. A fully diluted stake of 1.5 percent stake held by the Canadian government has just been purchased for $125 million.

US Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, Tim Massad, announced in a recent statement that,

“With today’s closing, the US government has exited its investment in Chrysler at least six years earlier than expected. This is a major accomplishment and further evidence of the success of the Administration’s actions to assist the US auto industry, which helped save a million jobs during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Since the US Treasury first bailed Chrysler out of bankruptcy, in effect, US taxpers have invested a total of $12.5 billion, according to TARP’s Automotive Industry Financing Program. Now that the last stake has been sold, the US Treasury is said to have received back a total of $11.2 billion, putting, in effect, taxpayers at a loss of 1.3 billion.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, said that the two auto companies will have a single management structure in place soon.




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