Chrysler and Fiat are denying Sergio Marchionne told analysts and potential investors they would be better served not investing in the Chrysler IPO if the smallest of the Big Three automakers completes a public offering of stock.
In a short release issued Thursday morning, Fiat said, "In response to various media reports, Fiat S.p.A./Chrysler Group strongly denies that Mr. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO and Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO made comments regarding Chrysler Group that were attributed to him in a Sanford C. Bernstein report issued earlier this week."
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The denial comes less than 24 hours after Bernstein analyst Max Warburton summarized Marchionne's comments at a Bernstein conference as giving the impression the CEO doesn't truly buy into the value of a Chrysler IPO.
Warburton wrote: "Marchionne spoke at our recent Bernstein conference and made some positive comments on Chrysler's prospects. But he argued that while he believed Chrysler had an attractive future, he did not believe investing via this partial IPO would be the most attractive route for investors (implying investing via Fiat, or a future Fiat-Chrysler listing, would be more attractive)."