South Korean automaker Hyundai is still reportedly interested in acquiring Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with sources recently telling the Asia Times that Hyundai CEO Chung Mong-koo is awaiting an expected drop in FCA’s share value before making a takeover bid. Last year saw a flurry of reports relating to such a merger, but FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has maintained that no deal is on the table, although the two automakers have reportedly discussed entering a technical partnership.
While Marchionne has a long history of calling for FCA to merge with another global automaker, he’s since backed off, saying that with the elimination of FCA’s industrial debt this month, there’s no longer a need to pursue a deal.
Hyundai’s bid for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will reportedly be launched sometime between this summer and the automaker’s April, 2019 shareholders’ meeting, which is when Marchionne plans to retire from his post. Activist shareholder and Elliott Management Principal Paul Singer will reportedly be the key driver for the Hyundai/FCA merger. Singer has amassed a stake worth about $1 billion in the South Korean automaker.
Merging Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with Hyundai would create the world’s largest automotive company by global sales volume, and it could help the Korean automaker to gain a stronger foothold in the crossover and truck spaces. So far, though, neither Hyundai nor FCA will comment on the matter.