Italian automaker Fiat purchased the U.S government's remaining holdings in Chrysler today. Fiat paid $560 million to the Treasury Department for the government's 98,000 shares.
Fiat has run Chrysler since the American automaker emerged from bankruptcy protection in June 2009. The U.S government provided a total of $12.5 billion to Chrysler with the funds coming from the government's $700 billion bank bailout fund. $11.2 billion has been repaid to the Treasury and Chrysler repaid $5.1 billion in loans from the government in May. The Treasury has stated that it likely won't recover the remaining $1.3 billion. With Fiat's payment to the government, the Italian automaker now has 52 percent ownership of Chrysler. Fiat will likely own 57 percent of Chrysler before the end of 2011 when Chrysler begins producing a 40 mpg small car in the U.S.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad released this statement: "With today's closing, the US government has exited its investment in Chrysler at least six years earlier than expected. This is a major accomplishment and further evidence of the success of the Administration's actions to assist the US auto industry, which helped save a million jobs during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
More: Fiat Pays U.S. Gov't $560M For Final Stake in Chrysler on AutoGuide.com