Italy’s Salvini says Italian state could help Fiat seal Renault merger

Buyers look over a 2018 Fiat 500 on display at the auto show in Denver, Colorado, US. (AP pic)

ROME: The Italian government could have a role to play in helping Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV complete its proposed merger with Renault SA, according to Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.

Fresh from a resounding victory in Sunday’s European parliamentary elections, Salvini endorsed the Franco-Italian plan to create the world’s third-biggest carmaker.

“It seems to me a brilliant deal, that I hope will be finalized,” Salvini said during a press conference in Rome. Asked if the government might take a stake in the new company, he said: “If Italy is required to have an institutional presence, that would be absolutely appropriate.”

Fiat said Monday that a deal with Renault would be structured as a 50-50 ownership through a Dutch holding company. Renault shareholders, including the French government, would get an implied premium of about 10%.

Earlier in the day, Salvini said that he trusts the deal “will safeguard every job in this country.”