Starbucks and Fiat dragged along in fair tax tide

By Edward Hadas
October 21, 2015

The European Commission’s classification of corporate tax favours as unfair state aid makes sense, even if the two companies broke no laws. Corporate treasurers should note the trend. Following bank tax secrecy, corporate tax havens are very gradually heading for extinction.

Fiat may find Chrysler deal is ticket out of Italy

January 5, 2012

The Turin carmaker will spend 2012 working out how to acquire the rest of the Detroit firm after raising its stake to 58.5 pct. Depending on the structure, Fiat may become Italy’s first truly global multinational - but only if the Agnelli family puts pragmatism over sentimentality.

Fiat pegs Chrysler as most undervalued carmaker

January 14, 2013

CEO Sergio Marchionne’s latest offer to buy a stake in Chrysler from the UAW trust sets the U.S. manufacturer’s worth at $6 bln. True, it lacks the cash and margins of Ford or GM. But it’s a purer play on a recovering U.S. market. Fiat can safely value Chrysler more generously.

Chrysler value spat may offer Fiat silver lining

April 29, 2013

The Italian automaker and a union trust are $3 bln apart on the value of the 41.5 pct of the Motown manufacturer Fiat doesn’t already own. Yet the outcome – full integration – isn’t in doubt. In the end, an urgent need to raise equity may hasten Fiat’s move from Italy to America.

Agnellis brace for Fiat-Chrysler merger endgame

June 3, 2013

The Agnellis want to maintain their 30 percent stake in Fiat after the Italian carmaker has merged with Chrysler. The 2 bln euro sale of their stake in Swiss inspection group SGS gives them ample means to take part in a potential capital hike after the deal.

Memo to Fiat on Chrysler listing: Drop it!

September 16, 2013

The Italian carmaker’s full takeover of its U.S. subsidiary is delayed by an unnecessary quarrel about its valuation. That may end with a temporary listing of a 16.6 pct stake of Chrysler. There are easier and faster ways to assess the company. Fiat should use them.

Chrysler IPO delay edges Fiat into driver’s seat

November 25, 2013

The union fund that owns 42 pct of the Detroit automaker needs an $18 bln total valuation to make a public listing worthwhile. Recent price talk has been considerably lower. Pushing the stock sale into next year suggests majority owner Fiat is in a better negotiating position.

Chrysler deal gives Fiat a new year’s turbo boost

January 2, 2014

Boss Sergio Marchionne comes out on top in the $4.3 bln pact with the union trust fund for the rest of the carmaker’s shares. It ends a messy dispute, avoids an IPO, doesn’t overtax the Italian firm’s finances and gives Marchionne more resources to get Fiat driving forward.

Car trouble

October 2, 2009

The banks may have been the most visible beneficiaries of government bailouts, but they are not the only ones. The automotive industry has also had its begging bowl out. But entrepreneurs should not be offered the opportunity for private gain at the taxpayers' expense.