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US sells last of Chrysler stake to Fiat

By Associated Press
July 22, 2011

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WASHINGTON - The US government no longer owns a piece of Chrysler.

Italian automaker Fiat SpA paid $560 million for the government’s remaining 98,000 shares of Chrysler Group, the Treasury Department said yesterday. Fiat has run the company since it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2009.

US taxpayers gave $12.5 billion to Chrysler and its financing arm after the recession hampered auto sales and brought Chrysler and General Motors Co. to the brink of collapse. The funds came from the government’s $700 billion bank bailout fund.

Under a bankruptcy deal, Fiat received a 20 percent stake in Chrysler for taking over management of the Detroit carmaker. The Italian automaker has gradually raised its stake in Chrysler, and yesterday’s purchase of the last US shares, along with a small stake held by Canada, means Fiat owns 53.5 percent.

Now that Fiat has majority control of the company, chief executive Sergio Marchionne, who runs both carmakers, plans to consolidate management of the companies.