AM Online

Knives out for Fresco at Fiat?

If the man tipped to replace Fiat's chief executive Gabriele Galateri gets the nod from the company's board on Friday, the appointment could mean the prompt resignation of Fiat chairman Paulo Fresco.

Enrico Bondi, a company restructuring expert with close ties to Mediobanco, is the front runner to get Galateri's job. But his policy preference to unravel the restructuring deal agreed with bankers last year would mean a direct clash with Fresco. Bondi/Mediobanco and the Italian Government have formed a strong alliance to oppose the sale of Fiat to GM, and according to today's Financial Times, even Fresco is now looking for an alternative destination for the ailing car division.

One alternative option would be for Fiat to cancel its put option agreed with GM for the giant carmaker to purchase the remaining three quarters of Fiat Auto it doesn't currently own, and hiving off Alfa-Romeo into a group with Ferrari/Maserati. That new group would be a more attractive purchase option for GM.

Mediobanco has already reportedly approached Volkswagen to serve as a partner in a new Ferrari-Alfa group.

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