Italian daily newspaper La Republica earlier this week revealed that Roberto Colaninno has suggested that a group of investors would stump up around $3bn with a further $4bn raised through divestitures. Colaninno, better known for his restructuring of Olivetti and his acquisition of Telecom Italia, would effectively become the chief executive of Fiat Auto's parent Fiat Spa.
The Colannino plan would mean that the company could waive its right to exercise the put option which is set to force GM to buy the remaining 80 per cent of Fiat Auto it doesn't already own in early 2004.
Fiat vice-chairman Umberto Agnelli has already scotched claims that the Colaninno plan was on the table.
“I appreciate the interest demonstrated, but I want to again recall that there's only one plan that's been approved by the board of Fiat,” he told the ANSA news agency.