MILAN (Reuters) -- Fiat and Chrysler will for the first time hold a single conference call on their annual results on Wednesday as the two companies finalize a merger that will create the world's seventh-largest auto group.
Fiat said on Jan. 1 that it had struck a $4.35 billion deal to gain full control of Chrysler by buying the remaining 41.46 percent stake that it did not own in the U.S. carmaker from the United Auto Workers VEBA Trust.
The move was the last step needed before the Italian and U.S. carmakers can merge and allow Sergio Marchionne, who heads both companies, to combine their resources as he seeks to cut losses in Europe.
Full ownership of Chrysler enables Marchionne to create a global industry player with better scale to challenge General Motors Co. and Volkswagen Group. He has tried since taking the helm at Fiat in 2004 to buy a competitor to give the struggling Italian manufacturer a worldwide market strategy for growth.
Merging the two companies will allow Fiat to pool cash with Chrysler and tighten cooperation between its Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati brands with Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.
The 2013 results conference call will be held at 15:00 CET, Fiat said in a statement on Monday.