Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, ItalyEnlarge Photo
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] is set to spin off Ferrari, with plans to list it on the New York Stock Exchange later this year, but the legendary brand will remain an Italian company regardless of how the sale goes, FCA says.
While most shares will remain with current FCA shareholders, there are plans to offer some to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), after which Ferrari shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. UBS is thought to be the investment bank that will lead the sale.
But that doesn't mean there will be a change in Ferrari's status as an Italian company, FCA now claims. In a recently released statement, the automaker said Ferrari "will continue to be organized under Italian law and tax resident [sic] in Italy."
FCA notes that the IPO and other exchanges of shares will not involve Ferrari itself, but rather a "parent company... which will be a Dutch incorporated entity." The Italian-American automaker says this corporate shell game is necessary to "provide an efficient and viable mechanism to distribute ownership of Ferrari to FCA's shareholders."
As mentioned above, the majority of Ferrari shares will end up in the hands of existing FCA shareholders, including majority holder Exor—an entity controlled by Fiat founders the Agnelli family—and Enzo Ferrari's son Piero, who currently owns a 10 percent stake in the company his father established all those years ago. Only around 10 percent of shares are expected to be made available to the public.
The sale will not shift Ferrari personnel away from Italy, or lead to employment cuts or decreased activity by Ferrari in its home country, FCA said. Importantly, Ferrari will also remain a tax resident of Italy.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he believes Ferrari is worth "at least" $11 billion, with raised funds from the IPO likely to be used to fund other FCA brands. The company has ambitious expansion plans for Alfa Romeo that could leave it with an eight-model lineup, and plans to continue implementing changes announced as part of a five-year plan last year. Maserati could also get some extra attention, as the Ferrari spin off makes it FCA's most prestigious remaining brand.