MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Fiat investors exercised 463.6 million euros ($610 million) in cash-exit rights, just shy of the 500 million euro threshold set by CEO Sergio Marchionne to complete a merger with Chrysler Group.
About 60 million shares were submitted by investors at the cash-exit price of 7.727 euros a share, Fiat said today in a statement. Had the tally exceeded the company’s 500 million-euro spending cap, the combination with Chrysler would have been delayed.
Fiat said a week ago that the merger is on track for completion by mid-October as the cost of buying out investors who want to pull out would not exceed the limit.
The stock submitted will be offered to the rest of Fiat’s investors at the exit price starting Friday through Oct. 6, the company said. Afterward, the carmaker may offer it on the open market at that price. Creditors, including bondholders, still have the right to exercise exit rights.
Marchionne said on Aug. 30 that the shares offloaded by the departing investors may be used "to create liquidity."
Fiat will sell the stock as part of the newly created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which may take place Oct. 13, he said.
Fiat today said that shareholders opposing the deal had exercised exit rights for 60 million shares, equivalent to about 463.6 million euros. Those 60 million shares are equivalent to around 6.3 percent of Fiat's 9.5 billion euro share capital.
Marchionne is merging Fiat with Chrysler to create the world’s seventh-largest automaker and become more competitive against industry heavyweights such as General Motors Co., Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp.
Fiat’s stock fell to the lowest this year on Aug. 6 amid concern that the cost of buying out shareholders would total more than the 500 million-euro budgeted. The exit price is 1.9 percent more than the 7.58 euros that Fiat shares cost at the close in Milan Wednesday.
Fiat has said it does not expect creditor opposition to stand in the way of the merger but the company reiterated today that the deal will not be completed should buyout costs for withdrawal rights and creditors opposing the transaction amount to more than the cap.
Reuters contributed to this report