In a shock move, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will spin off exotic carmaker Ferrari, offering up to 10% of the company in an upcoming IPO that could generate billions of dollars for the parent company’s shareholders.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne explained, “Following our acquisition of the minority interest in Chrysler earlier this year, the transformation of Fiat and Chrysler into FCA was completed earlier this month with our debut on the New York Stock Exchange. As we move forward to secure the 2014-2018 Business Plan and work toward maximizing the value of our businesses to our shareholders, it is proper that we pursue separate paths for FCA and Ferrari.”
Making Ferrari a public company would also mean that Ferrari’s secret Formula 1 budgets- long a subject of speculation- would be made public. That could have serious repercussions for F1, in general, since a new board of directors may not be excited to spend (what is assumed to be) half a billion dollars every season to fight for fifth place- something that ousted Ferrari Chairman Luca De Montezemolo seems to have known all about, when he made comments about Ferrari becoming an American company.
Rumored plans for Ferrari have the storied marque expanding well beyond its current 7000 annual production run, and the IPO would likely allow the company to raise the funds needed to move downmarket (as it surely must) in order to hit goals of 10-15,000 cars per year.