MILAN, May 4 – Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne is planning to sell Fiat Industrial, the company\’s heavy vehicle division, in order to finance a merger with Chrysler, Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper, which did not cite any sources, said that Marchionne had recently contacted a group of banks to find a buyer for Fiat Industrial. Several major investment funds were interested in the purchase, the newspaper said.
Contacted by AFP, a spokesman for Fiat Industrial declined to comment.
La Repubblica said the sale of Fiat Industrial could generate enough funds to pursue a merger with US firm Chrysler, which is already managed by Fiat.
Fiat Industrial, which was formally split off from Fiat in January, includes truck maker Iveco and agricultural machinery producer CNH.
Investors cheered the report, with Fiat Industrial shares gaining 2.01 percent to 10.13 euros on the Milan stock exchange where the benchmark index was down 0.24 percent. Fiat shares were also up 0.75 percent at 7.385 euros.