April 17, 2009 / 9:30 PM / 10 years ago

Fiat may tie-up with GM in Europe, Latam: report

DETROIT (Reuters) - Italian automaker Fiat SpA FIA.MI may form an alliance with General Motors Corp’s (GM.N) core operations in Europe and Latin America, Automotive News said on Friday, citing an unnamed source.

The deal would be on top of Fiat’s plan to merge with U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC, the weekly trade magazine said.

The talks with GM are in an early phase and were not an alternative to Fiat’s ongoing negotiations with Chrysler, the magazine said, citing the same source.

The deal would not include Saab’s and Chevrolet’s European operations, the magazine said.

Fiat had no immediate comment and a GM spokeswoman was not immediately available.

GM, which is operating under emergency funds from U.S. taxpayers, is trying to sell its European Opel and Saab brands.

GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said on Friday that it has contacted at least six parties regarding Opel.

“We’ve reached out to well more than six, actually, people who have expressed an interest (in Opel). These are serious people,” Henderson told a conference call with reporters.

“Many of them are financial players, some of them are industrial players. I would expect that work would get done in the next two to three weeks and so that process has kicked off,” he said.

Henderson was less specific regarding Saab saying only, “We have a number of parties who are interested in looking at Saab and our books are open, if you will, in terms of what that business looks like and I don’t really have anything more to report there.”

Reporting by Poornima Gupta, editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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