MILAN (Reuters) – Italy could take a stake in newly-created automaker Stellantis but any such investment would be made in a consensual way, Italy’s deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani told an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot maker PSA shareholders on Monday approved a $52 billion merger to create the world’s fourth-largest carmaker.
“A possible presence of the Italian State in the capital of the new group, similar to that of the French government … cannot and must not be a taboo”, Misiani told La Repubblica.
Misiani said this was because Stellantis involves the national interest from an employment and industrial point of view, adding that a possible investment should take place under certain conditions “which do not exist at the moment”.
Both FCA and PSA declined to comment on the deputy minister’s quotes.
Paris, which is currently one of PSA’s largest shareholders, will hold a 6.2% stake in Stellantis through French public bank BPI France once the merger is completed.
Exor, the Agnelli family’s holding which is FCA’s main shareholder, would become Stellantis’s largest single investor with a 14.4% stake.
FCA and PSA expect to complete their tie-up on Jan. 16.
The Italian deputy minister also pointed out the need to go beyond incentive mechanisms already in place and adopt a new medium to long term perspective, which would include environmental goals.
“Technological challenges intersect with the ecological transition (…). This is precisely why important resources could come from the EU Recovery fund, which pays a lot of attention to decarbonisation,” he said.
Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro; Editing by Alexander Smith