Chinese carmaker Great Wall looks at bidding for Fiat Chrysler

The logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles'  Jeep brand is seen on a vehicle at Tbilisi Mall in Tbilisi Georgia

Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor has expressed interest in buying some or all of Fiat Chrysler.

Shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles jumped 3.5% in Milan on Monday following the news.

Great Wall's spokeswoman did not confirm whether the companies had made any contact yet but she confirmed the intention to make an offer.

Earlier on Monday, two sources said Great Wall Motor had asked for a meeting with FCA, with the aim of making an offer for all or part of the world's seventh-largest vehicle maker. He gave no further details.

Fiat Chrysler has denied rumors of a potential takeover by China's Great Wall Motor Co.

A move for FCA or one of its main brands, if successful, would allow Great Wall Motor to accelerate a planned push into the USA market, the two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Great Wall President Wang Fengying, listed by Fortune as the seventh most powerful woman in Asia, wrote in an email to Automotive News that Great Wall intends to buy Jeep and is "connecting with FCA" to begin negotiations.

Bill Russo, managing director of Gao Feng Advisory Group, said he believes Great Wall Motor is interested in just buying Jeep rather than buying all of FCA and inheriting its sizeable liabilities.

Great Wall is known for its sport-utility vehicles, which are popular in China, so a deal would be "quite complementary" for the company, the analyst said. "Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better [than on our own]".

FCA shares rose 3.9% to€ 11.12 in Milan, outperforming a flat market. Great Wall Motor shares were up nearly 3% in Shanghai. Earlier, officials declined to comment on the earlier Automotive News report focused on Jeep.

Jeep has an global reputation that has been built up since the Second World War. Ram could be an option, he added, but "the Jeep brand is recognised globally".

As Chinese automakers like Zhejiang Geely acquire foreign brands such as Volvo (volvy), Great Wall is seeking its own piece of the potential profit from Europe and the U.S. Acquiring Jeep would allow Great Wall to enter the premium market with a well-recognized brand.



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