Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor is interested in launching a bid for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), an official said, confirming reports that the company is looking to buy all or part of the owner of the Jeep and Ram brands.
Speculation about Chinese interest in FCA came after Automotive News reported last week that a well-known Chinese auto unidentified firm had made a bid earlier this month, prompting a jump in share price FCA in Milan.
“With respect to this case, we are currently seeking an acquisition. We are interested (in FCA),” a Great Wall Motor press relations official told Reuters in a telephone conversation.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is looking for a partner or buyer for the world’s seventh carmaker to help drive rising costs, meet emissions requirements, and develop technology for electric and self-driven cars. Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that Great Wall Motor had not approached the company and that it was busy implementing its current five-year business plan.
If Great Wall purchases FCA, an operation that would have a market valuation of nearly $ 20 billion, it would by far be China’s biggest deal in the international auto industry and possibly one of the largest international purchases in history, overshadowing Acquisition by Geely of Volvo in 2010.
FCA is larger than Great Wall, whose market valuation is close to 16 billion dollars. Earlier Monday, two people familiar with the matter said that Great Wall Motor had requested a meeting with FCA, with the aim of making an offer for all or part of the group.