Chrysler merger 'possible' by year's end says Marchionne

Fiat CEO eyes deal with VEBA

Geneva, March 6 - Fiat's planned merger with Chrysler is "possible" by the end of the year, CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday. If The Turin car giant reaches a deal with Chrysler's union retirement trust fund trust VEBA to buy up its remaining stake in the Detroit No.3,, he said, "the merger is technically possible by the end of the year. On January 3 Fiat said it would exercise an option to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3% to 65.17%. The second chunk to be taken from VEBA - after a first 3.3% share acquired in July - would cost $198 million, it said. Fiat took control of tottering Chrysler after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and it has since increased its stake from 20% after meeting a series of performance targets agreed with the American government.

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