Sergio Marchionne is the CEO of Fiat, which as you may have heard, has finally worked up a deal to finish acquiring the Chrysler Group after months of bargaining with the United Auto Workers and its VEBA healthcare trust, which owned just over 40 percent of the American brand. Where was Marchionne when the deal was finally hammered out? Well, not tucked away in a frigid Detroit board room until the wee hours of the morning.

Nope, one of the largest deals in automotive history was reportedly hammered out on the beach – at the home of a banker, in the Florida resort town of Vero Beach. Marchionne traveled to the home of Alain Lebec, a senior managing director at Brock Capital LLC, one of the advisory companies for the VEBA fund, where both sides met to make final arrangements in the $4.35-billion exchange. The location of the final deal, though, is nearly as remarkable as the pace with which it came about.

According to anonymous sources pinned down by Automotive News Europe, before the meeting, the two sides were meeting in Detroit as recently as December 19, which is where Fiat made one of its final revised offers. Naturally, the VEBA made a counter offer, which led Marchionne to initiate the Vero Beach meeting.

From there, at the house of Lebec, the final $4.35-billion figure – which sits between the Fiat offer and the VEBA counteroffer – was agreed upon. The results of that December 28 meeting, which according to ANE lasted about four hours past sunset, were approved by the Fiat board the next day, and the deal's announcement was scheduled for January 1.

The small details of the deal haven't quite been hammered out, with some sources telling ANE that a timeline for the official Fiat/Chrysler merger likely won't be arranged until later this month. Still, the simple fact that this deal happened so quickly and outside of a traditional Detroit atmosphere makes it all the more incredible.


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  • 34 Comments
      sinistro79
      • 11 Months Ago
      Good news... Now Marchionne and Fiat can finally focus focus on bringing Alfa Romeo stateside again.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      Jim Morris
      • 11 Months Ago
      And many pockets were lined with profits made off the tax payers money!
      J
      • 11 Months Ago
      > Marchionne completed Fiat-Chrysler deal from a Florida beach Now that's what I call closing the deal in style!
      Fred
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sergio give us back our brasilian fiats as we have none i know you cut them off no fiats of any kind in guatemala and arealy roten dealer now selling renaults
      HUNG
      • 11 Months Ago
      Fix It Again Tony is in big trouble in Europe and sales are falling fast on them in the US, this is their 3rd try in the U S and it will fail..Chrysler will be in trouble again in the next downturn so Obama giving Fiat Chrysler will be a failure...
        Mary
        • 11 Months Ago
        @HUNG
        really? actually fiat as a company "not automaker" is much bigger than volkswagen, fiat own ferrari and maserati that both did the record of sales %, fiat own also alfa romeo, lancia and fiat make industrial vehicle and much more CHECK ON YAHOO "FERRARI WAS NAMED THE MOST POWERFUL BRAND IN THE WORLD 2013 SURPASSING GOOGLE AND APPLE" Is better fiat than tha american and german cars. FORD FART ON THE ROAD BMW BIG MEXICAN WOMAN OR BIG MONEY WASTE Fiat now stand for Finance it again toby, after fiat saved chrysler from bankruptcy say thanks to daimler the germans that left chrysler in bankruptcy
        Pdexter
        • 11 Months Ago
        @HUNG
        Oh those tears taste so good.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 11 Months Ago
      boss
      CycleGolf
      • 11 Months Ago
      This has all the makings of Daimler Chrysler part 2. Where Fiat is going to take profits from Jeep to try to make FIAT a player in the US. We don't need or want FIAT.
        hoosyourdaddyo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CycleGolf
        Here's the faulty logic behind your post: If FIAT wanted to just grab Chrysler for the 10 Billion in the bank, and run, it would have served them much better to let the car maker continue to struggle, because the better the company did during the time between them taking over post-bailout till the VEBA purchase, the more FIAT would have to pay for them. So what did happen in those 4 years? FIAT invested a lot of money and opened up the coffers to allow Chrysler's remaining (THEY LOST A TON UNDER DAIMLER/CEREBUS) engineers the ability to field competitive products. While the basic design of the Grand Cherokee was started under Daimler, and is loosely related to the Mercedes M-Class, it was Cerebus who went "all-in" on the car, but there was only so much they could do. It wasn't until FIAT was able to come in, and bring in not only the funds, but the expertise and suppliers to take the GC from a lousy interior that trailed it rivals, to arguably the best interior in it's class (certainly in 2011). Then they followed up with the emergency re-fresh of the Sebring, and that was a smashing success. That was followed by updates to the 300 and Charger, the Durango, Journey and the 2014 refresh on the GC as well as the continuous improvements on the Ram line of trucks, and the introduction of the Dart (which has been a disapointment), and the Cherokee (which has been a smash). If their intention was to grab Chrysler as cheap as possible, they went about it the wrong way. I think they have a sincere desire to build the combined companies into a global player. Don't be surprised if we don't see Mazda or Suzuki added into the fold in the next 3 years as well.
        Vergenbuurg
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CycleGolf
        Well, at least this time there aren't any false pretensions... Fiat isn't making like it's a "merger of equals"... they have flat-out purchased Chrysler. Also, Marchionne has shown wherewithal and passion for building Chrysler, ALL of Chrysler, back up.
        Mary
        • 11 Months Ago
        @CycleGolf
        maybe you don't need or want fiat. actually i don't need or want any german cars Better fiat and alfa romeo
      Cruising
      • 11 Months Ago
      A stable Chrysler is a happy Chrysler.
      whofan
      • 11 Months Ago
      If it weren't for Fiat Chrysler would be gone. Fiat brand would sell here in the States, if they would put them on Chrysler lots instead of having separate dealers for them. I do wonder about their strategy dropping Dodge from the truck and thinking about doing away with the Caravan model.
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 11 Months Ago
      Wait, that's where I am. Odds are he was in John's Island development, if not one of the estates on the beach nearby. Amazing how many CEO's are in this town.
        Robbie
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Timothy Tibbetts
        The number of CEOs who are not in your town is equally amazing
      bill
      • 11 Months Ago
      This will go bust in short order as Fiat can't bank roll a new operation easily.
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