Fiat Chrysler will spin off Ferrari to fund its expansion plans

2014 Ferrari 458 Spider review
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA, the newly renamed version of the Fiat-Chrysler conglomerate) will spin off Ferrari, ending Fiat’s decades-long control of the automaker.

The legendary Italian carmaker and race team will become a separate entity, and some of its shares will be sold to fund FCA’s expansion plans, Reuters reports.

The company plans to list a 10 percent stake of its 90 percent share of Ferrari on a stock exchange in the U.S., and possibly one in Europe as well. The remaining percentage will be distributed to FCA shareholders, including the Agnelli family, which started Fiat and controls 30 percent of FCA.

The remaining 10 percent will remain under the control of Piero Ferrari, son of founder Enzo.

Since he largest chunks of Ferrari will stay in the hands of FCA shareholders, the actual ownership of the company won’t change dramatically.

However, the organizational structure will, and the 10 percent public offering means outsiders will have a stake in the carmaker for the first time.

Related: Ferrari F60America celebrates 60 years of the Prancing Horse in the U.S.

FCA is hoping the Ferrari shares fetch a pretty penny, generating cash it can use to fund ambitious expansion plans for its other brands.

From Alfa Romeo and Maserati to Chrysler and Dodge, most of FCA’s brands are in need of a turnaround.

The company is trying to make Alfa into a viable full-line brand again, and expand the U.S. beachhead secured by the 4C with other products. It also wants to make Maserati into a BMW competitor, as evidenced by the Ghibli sedan and upcoming Levant SUV.

Chrysler and Dodge are in the midst of reinventing themselves as FCA tries to clarify the difference between the two brands. Under the company’s five-year plan, Chrysler is supposed to go mainstream, while Dodge focuses on sportier vehicles.

Jeep has appeared immune to the other Chrysler brands’ problems, but Fiat wants to make it more attractive to more buyers outside the U.S., hence the pint-sized Renegade.

Meanwhile, Ferrari itself will probably continue with business as usual, building jaw-dropping supercars no matter who owns it.

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