Mary Barra, speaking in Frankfurt on Monday about FCA's merger talk invitation: "We've looked at it very, very carefully and in tremendous detail. And it's not in the best interest of General Motors shareholders."
FRANKFURT -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra said the automaker’s investors haven’t been beating down the company’s door to discuss a potential GM-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles merger since FCA chief Sergio Marchionne renewed buzz about a deal last month.
Speaking to reporters at an event on the eve of the auto show here, Barra said she has not received any follow-up inquiry from Marchionne since he first raised the prospect in a personal email last spring. She said GM’s investors have stayed quiet on the issue in recent weeks, following an Automotive News report in which Marchionne forcefully lobbied for GM to give it a look.
“There hasn’t been much stated from our investors,” Barra told more than 75 reporters from around the globe. “I think we need to take note of that.”
Barra said GM has had “expert advisers from the outside look at” the prospect of a GM-FCA tieup, and she reiterated that GM management and its board have studied the issue closely.
“We’ve looked at it very, very carefully and in tremendous detail. And it’s not in the best interest of General Motors shareholders,” Barra said. “I think that’s a very compelling message and it’s resonating with those shareholders.”
In the interview, Marchionne said the synergies between the two companies are too big to ignore and that he was committed to getting GM to the table, though he stopped short of declaring a hostile takeover bid.
Barra also said that there could be antitrust concerns and other barriers to a GM-FCA deal.
“There are a whole host of issues, including antitrust issues, etc., that would have to be dealt with,” she said.
Barra is attending her first European auto show since she became CEO in January 2014. She is scheduled on Tuesday to introduce the redesigned Opel Astra compact car, which shares its underpinnings with the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, slated to go on sale in the U.S. by early 2016.