(Adds details, quotes)
GENEVA, March 3 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may create a Netherlands-based holding company controlling Ferrari when it spins off the luxury carmaker later this year, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Geneva auto show, Marchionne stressed the move would not be for tax reasons, but is meant to facilitate Ferrari’s planned listing in the United States.
“Ferrari will continue to make cars in Italy, generate profits in this country and pay taxes in Italy,” he told journalists. “It could be that there is a solution, and we are examining it, in having a company above Ferrari.”
Marchionne said if implemented, the move would follow the example of FCA and CNH Industrial, the trucks and tractor maker that was spun off from the Fiat group. Both companies have a holding company structure with a legal base in the Netherlands and are listed in the United States.
Marchionne said the group was also considering setting up a loyalty share scheme for Ferrari that would strengthen the grip of long-term shareholders, notably Fiat’s founding Agnelli family, on the company although no final decision had been taken yet.
FCA is planning to complete Ferrari’s initial public offering in the first half of 2015, although it could slip into the third quarter, he said. The group wants to wrap up the spin-off by the end of the year.
Marchionne reiterated that there was urgent need for consolidation in the auto industry to cut down on prohibitive capital costs.
He said he had an “ideal candidate” in mind for a partner for FCA, but declined to elaborate. He said it was not Volkswagen, although he would be willing to collaborate with the German carmaker on projects.
Marchionne said his group could be either buyer or seller in any future M&A activity, adding that it was talking to many parties. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak. Editing by Jane Merriman)