Fiat Chrysler shares Close Lower in New York trade debut

Fiat Chrysler shares Close Lower in New York trade debut

Italian automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Monday slid back in its first day of Wall Street trade after shifting its main listing from Milan to attract more investment.

The newly merged Italian auto giant, formed by Fiat’s full acquisition of US automaker Chrysler, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FCAU at $9.00 a share.

Shares closed at $8.92, after hitting a peak of $9.55.

The Wall Street market debut is not an initial public offering, rather it is the transfer of the primary listing of the company’s shares to the United States. Shares will continue to be traded in Milan but on the secondary market.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, headquartered in the Netherlands with a tax domicile in Britain, became the holding company for the Fiat Chrysler Group on October 12.

The company, whose brands include Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Alfa Romeo, has operations in about 40 countries and its cars and trucks are sold in more than 150 countries.

An employee shines a Ferrari displayed in front of the New York Stock Exchange on October 13, 2014

For Fiat’s chief executive Sergio Marchionne, the Wall Street launch of the world’s seventh largest automaker marks a major milestone on his years-long effort to create a global automotive powerhouse.

Five years ago, Marchionne saw the opportunity to acquire ailing Chrysler, the third-largest US automaker, after it emerged from a bankruptcy reorganization under the auspices of the US government, with the aim of boosting the prospects of both Fiat and Chrysler.

Fiat methodically acquired shares in Chrysler and completed the full acquisition in January 2014.

Along the way, the CEO’s transatlantic vision was solidly backed by Fiat chairman John Elkann, despite concerns raised by the tie-up, especially in Italy.

The main stocks listing in New York, the world’s financial capital, transfers the center of gravity of the company to the United States, where markets are the most fluid and investors’ pockets are the deepest.

Marchionne has said he will conduct an investor “roadshow” in the coming weeks in the US to ramp up interest in buying the stocks.

On Monday, Marchionne suggested the company may go to the bond market for financing the company’s growth strategy, which includes relaunching the company’s luxury brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati.