Chrysler Files for IPO

As expected, Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement with the U.S.

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As expected, Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

The 396-page form does not indicate when the IPO might occur, how many shares ultimately will be offered or their price.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been hired to manage the sale. Shares would be offered by the United Auto Workers Retirement Medical Benefits Trust, which owns 41.5% of the company. Chrysler made the filing at the request of the trust under terms of the latter’s shareholder agreement with the carmaker.

Fiat SpA owns 58.5% of Chrysler. But its effort to buy out the trust’s stake and merge the two companies has been mired in a legal dispute over Chrysler’s value that may not go to trial until 2015.

Analysts say the IPO process will determine a share price and thus a market valuation that could speed negotiations to complete a sale.

Under the terms of Chrysler’s bankruptcy in 2009, Fiat has the option to buy the trust’s stake for $4.25 billion, plus 9% annual interest from January 2010. The trust claims its holding is worth more than $5 billion.