Fiat sees opportunities for industrial unit tie-ups

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Italian carmaker Fiat said Wednesday it saw various opportunities for tie-ups for its Fiat Industrial unit after press reports that Germany's Daimler auto group was interested in it.

Fiat said in a statement in response to the reports that "in the normal course of business, the group reviews different opportunities to enhance operational synergies and access to new markets through potential cooperations of varied nature with other international manufacturers for each of its businesses."

Fiat Industrial groups Fiat's non-automobile activities.

Daimler, the world's leading truck manufacturer, later denied a report in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that it had discussed the acquisition of the unit with Fiat.

"In our sector, at the moment, everyone is talking about cooperation with everyone else," a Daimler spokesman told AFP.

But he added that "as far as the information in La Repubblica is concerned, there have been no discussions with Fiat on that subject."

The news paper said Daimler had made a preliminary offer of 9.0 billion euros (12 billion dollars) that Fiat had deemed to be insufficient.

Fiat declined to comment on the report.

Fiat shareholders earlier this month approved a plan to separate the group's auto and non-auto making activities as part of a drive to increase its global clout.

Fiat Industrial will group Iveco, the bus and truck division, and CNH, which specialises in agriculture and construction equipment.

Fiat Industrial is to be quoted on the Milan stock exchange starting January 3.

© 2010 AFP

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