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Volkswagen and Fiat deny merger report

Fiat has denied a German magazine report saying the Italian carmaker was in talks aimed at merging with Germany's Volkswagen (VW). VW also rejected the notion, claiming it had no new acquisitions on the agenda.

In a statement issued by


on Thursday, the Italian carmaker said there hadn't been any discussion with Volkswagen about a merger.


also rejected any speculation about a tie-up. A company spokesman told news agency AFP that

Europe's biggest carmaker

had "no M and A [merger and acquisition] projects on the agenda at the moment."

"We're concentrating on boosting efficiency of the group," the spokesman added.

According to the German weekly Manager Magazin, the families that control Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler are exploring the possibility of a merger or acquisition.

"Various talks have already been held between VW's key shareholder Ferdinand Piech, and the Elkann and Agnelli families as main shareholders of Fiat," Manager Magazine reported in an article to be published on Friday.

The magazine quoted company sources as saying that the Italian auto maker wanted to focus on its Ferrari sports car brand. Nevertheless, there were still many hurdles to any deal, the magazine also wrote. These included differences regarding an appropriate price. Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne was also looking at other strategic options, the report said.

A person familiar with the situation told Reuters news agency that VW would more likely bid for Fiat assets such as Magnetti or Alfa Romeo rather than the entire company.

VW shares were the biggest losers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Thursday, dropping 1.30 percent in late afternoon trading. In Milan, Fiat shares had jumped by as much as 3.6 percent in the session.

uhe/sri (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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