By Patrick Rall
If you are a rabid Chrysler fan who has wanted to invest some money in the company via the stock market, you are in luck as the Chrysler Group announced yesterday that they have officially filed for an Initial Public Offering. Registering with the US Government Securities and exchange Commission (SEC) is the first step towards offering Chrysler Group ownership on the stock market. The SEC is the agency responsible for making sure that all stock market activity falls within the boundaries of US law so before a company wishes to be publicly traded on the open market – they are required to register with the SEC.
Provided that the SEC and all other parties approve of the IPO, the company will set a date on which Chrysler Group stock will first go on sale while also announcing their opening price per share. Since the announcement of the SEC filing for the IPO is the very first step, we don’t have any details on how much Chrysler Group stock will be available nor do we know what the price per share could be on the IPO date but we do know that Fiat SpA wont be losing of their ownership of the Chrysler Group via the IPO. Instead of putting any of the Fiat portion up for public sale, the shares that hit the stock market will come out of the portion of the company currently owned by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, better known as the “VEBA Trust”.
VEBA owns about 40% of the Chrysler Group and while Fiat SpA has been wanting to acquire the rest of that stock, negotiations between Fiat management and UAW leaders have proven to be unsuccessful. Fortunately for all involved parties, the UAW appears to be willing to sell off their portion of ownership – just not to Fiat SpA. This is good news for Fiat in the fact that the UAW will have a smaller piece of the pie and it is good news for the VEBA Trust in the fact that the proceeds of the sale of their stock will go strictly to the VEBA Trust account. This means that the Chrysler Group won’t benefit financially from the sale of those VEBA shares but it still sends the ownership of the Chrysler Group in a direction that makes Fiat happy.
The best news comes for investors who want to be the proud owner of a small piece of the Chrysler Group and provided that no agreement is reached between VEBA and Fiat SpA, we could see the Chrysler Group back on the public stock market soon.