(Reuters) -- Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says there is a "better than 50 percent chance" that Fiat will increase its stake in Chrysler Group in July.
Fiat has an option to buy a roughly 3 percent stake in Chrysler from the retiree healthcare trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union beginning in July.
The trust, known as the VEBA, "is not a natural shareholder" and will want to sell its stake, Marchionne told reporters on Thursday. "I'm happy to help them with that."
Fiat took management control and a 20 percent stake in Chrysler three years ago when the automaker emerged from a government-funded bankruptcy. Since then, Fiat has raised its stake in Chrysler to 58.5 percent.
The VEBA, which is not managed by the union, owns the rest of Chrysler. The VEBA's stake in the U.S. automaker is managed by an independent fiduciary.