CNH Global Hasn't Yet Approved Fiat Industrial Merger

Fiat Industrial SpA (FI), the truck and tractor manufacturer spun off by carmaker Fiat SpA (F) in 2011, said a special committee of its CNH (CNH) Global NV unit hasn’t yet approved its merger proposal.

“The CNH Special Committee, which was constituted for the sole purpose of evaluating the proposal, is engaged in an extensive due diligence process,” Fiat Industrial said in a statement today. The company said it will provide an update on the merger process when it presents third-quarter results this month.

Fiat Industrial plans to merge with CNH and, in a blow to Italy, move the combined company’s primary listing to New York from Milan. The manufacturer is reorganizing in response to economic woes in Europe. Its Iveco truck unit announced plans on July 1 to shut five plants in Europe by the end of 2012 because of the sovereign-debt crisis. Fiat Chairman Sergio Marchionne has said he plans to complete the CNH deal this year.

Marchionne, who is targeting 25 billion euros ($32.5 billion) in sales for Fiat Industrial this year, wants to create the world’s third-largest capital-goods company in the merger, with a product range spanning Iveco delivery trucks, New Holland harvesters and FPT ship engines.

The Italian manufacturer already holds an 88 percent stake in Amsterdam-based CNH, which owns New Holland and the Case agricultural- and construction-equipment brand. Fiat Industrial proposed on May 30 that a new company be created in a share exchange with no premium for CNH shareholders.

“Now it seems that there is hope for those CNH shareholders holding out for better terms,” said David Arnold, a sales specialist at Credit Suisse in London, after Reuters reported Oct. 3 that the combination may be delayed to 2013 as independent directors questioned the share-swap terms.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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