Peugeot owner 'in merger talks with Fiat Chrysler'

Peugeot e Legend ConceptPeugeot

Peugeot e Legend ConceptPeugeot

US-Italian auto giant Fiat Chrysler and France's Peugeot are in merger talks that would yield an entity valued at about $50 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter told AFP on Tuesday.

In a short press release, PSA said: "Following recent reports on a possible business combination between Groupe PSA and FCA Group, Groupe PSA confirms there are ongoing discussions aiming at creating one of the world's leading automotive Groups".

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Fiat Chrysler shares rose sharply after the report and were up more than 7% in late afternoon trading.

PSA Group on Wednesday confirmed the existence of the talks, which come only months after a failed merger attempt between FCA and PSA's French rival Renault. Global automakers face the prospect of a slowdown in global demand coinciding with the most dramatic technology changes in a century.

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However, if the two companies do combine, PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares is expected to lead the enlarged group. PSA sold 3.9 million cars previous year.

Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann broke off talks with Renault in June after French government officials intervened and pushed for Renault first to resolve tensions with its Japanese alliance partner, Nissan Motor Co. That deal would have seen FCA take over a 50-per-cent stake in that company, but instead, the deal fell apart when the French government, which has a 15-per-cent stake in Renault, got between the two automakers. In April Tavares said he would consider buying Britain's largest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, but its Indian owner, Tata, said the company was not for sale.

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Tavares is, among other things, credited with saving Opel from the dustbin.

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