UG.PA - Peugeot S.A.

Paris - Paris Delayed price. Currency in EUR
19.52
-0.24 (-1.21%)
At close: 5:36PM CET
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Previous close19.76
Open19.65
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's range19.52 - 19.86
52-week range18.78 - 27.06
Volume2,572,112
Avg. volume3,102,925
Market cap17.441B
Beta (5Y monthly)N/A
PE ratio (TTM)5.78
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target estN/A
  • Reuters - UK Focus

    REFILE-LIVE MARKETS-Closing snapshot: It's not FOMO

    Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net CLOSING SNAPSHOT: IT'S NOT FOMO (1641 GMT) That's right, it's not Fear Of Missing Out, it's actually a Habit Of Missing Out for the STOXX 600, which ends the session up 0.19%, just one point from its record of 421.43 hit on January 9. YTD, the U.S. index is comfortably ahead of its European cousin with a rise of 2.3% versus 1.1% for the STOXX 600. The Dow Jones decided to keep celebrating the signing of the US-China ‘phase one’ trade deal, with momentum firmly on the index’s side.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-STOXX 600 missing out again

    * European shares little changed * Wall Street posts new records * Results drive top movers: Pearson tanks, Hellofresh rallies * Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net STOXX 600 MISSING OUT AGAIN (1604 GMT) There's a party and the STOXX 600 isn't invited. While Wall Street is celebrating the trade deal, Morgan Stanley's fresh earnings and positive retail data with new record highs, the STOXX 600 is missing out again.

  • Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG) Is An Attractive Dividend Stock - Here's Why
    Simply Wall St.

    Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG) Is An Attractive Dividend Stock - Here's Why

    Could Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to...

  • The Not-So-Irreversible Renault-Nissan Allliance
    Bloomberg

    The Not-So-Irreversible Renault-Nissan Allliance

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Renault SA pledged back in February to make its 20-year-old Alliance with Nissan Motor Co. “irreversible,” after the shocking arrest of the French carmaker’s boss Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct exposed deep rifts on both sides.That goal now looks further away than ever, with Ghosn’s dramatic escape to Lebanon and his repeated denials of the charges reopening old wounds, and neither firm succeeding in bridging the political and governance divide between France and Japan.The Financial Times reports that Nissan is ramping up contingency plans in case of a breakup — which, while financially painful and costly for both sides, shouldn’t be ruled out. With both Renault and Nissan under new management, and advocates of closer integration on the wane, time is running out to prove that this isn’t an alliance in name only.The spectacle of Ghosn holding court for several hours in Beirut last week was a grim reminder of the Alliance’s fragility. Whether you believe in his conspiracy narrative or not, the political meddling clearly ran deep: Ghosn pointed to France’s doubling of its voting rights in 2015 as the seed of Japanese resentment against Paris’s out-sized influence within the partnership. The fact that Paris was dreaming of a full-blown merger, while the Japanese wanted nothing of the sort, shows that the fundamental issues around control and governance go well beyond Ghosn.Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard’s efforts to show that the Alliance is bigger than the man who forged it haven’t really paid off, either. Conversations about how to save the partnership have failed to get past the question of whether it should become more equitable: Renault, in which the French state has a 15% stake, owns 43% of Nissan, while Nissan owns 15% of its partner. Nissan has sought more sway in the alliance, including a reduction in Renault’s stake, given the Japanese company’s bigger size and superior earnings performance in recent years (though the latter has started to tail off). Meanwhile, Renault’s bungled attempt last year to strike a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV managed to both annoy the Japanese and benefit its French arch-rival Peugeot SA, the company that Fiat is now set to merge with.Politics and governance are one side of the equation — but what about money? It seems strange to let a corporate partnership fall apart after 20 years when it’s clearly been a financial success. Renault and Nissan’s Alliance sells over 10 million cars a year, almost on par with industry leaders Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp., and they’ve been avidly working together to find more synergies. The companies said in 2018 that their annual cost savings would exceed 10 billion euros ($11.1 billion) by 2022. In an industry that’s facing growing spending requirements amid the shift to electric cars, that’s an obvious advantage.But even the financial benefits of the Alliance require a harmonious partnership. To achieve those savings, Renault and Nissan need to ramp up common manufacturing platforms and roll out more jointly-developed projects. The companies have pledged to build two-thirds of all cars sold on common platforms and three-quarters of all cars sold using common power-trains (up from one-third) by 2022. That looks hard in an environment where, according to the FT, the view inside Nissan is that the relationship is “toxic.” And the fact that both Renault and Nissan have recently moved to replace their CEOs shows how tough the post-Ghosn era has been.Today, the best argument for keeping the Renault-Nissan Alliance together, like many an unhappy marriage, is the cost of breaking it up. At a time when national pride is trumping economic self-interest, that’s not good enough. Until those in charge can prove there is an incentive in closer cooperation, it will be hard to convince stakeholders on both sides that this is an irreversible alliance.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Peugeot family aims to quickly raise PSA-Fiat Chrysler stake: newspaper interview
    Reuters

    Peugeot family aims to quickly raise PSA-Fiat Chrysler stake: newspaper interview

    The Peugeot family, which will own a 6.2% stake in the new carmaker resulting from PSA and Fiat Chrysler's merger, aims to increase its holding as soon as possible, a representative said in a newspaper interview. PSA and Fiat Chrysler reached a binding agreement last month on a $50 billion tie-up that will create the world's No. 4 carmaker after the deal is completed in 12-15 months. Under the terms of the deal, the Peugeot family can increase its shareholding by up to 2.5% only by acquiring shares from French state investment bank Bpifrance Participations and China's Dongfeng Motors, which are both also PSA shareholders.

  • Bloomberg

    Nice Try, Ghosn, But You Can't Try Yourself

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Instead of a show trial in Tokyo we got the Ghosn show in Beirut. Neither offered the chance of a satisfactory outcome.One of the most hotly anticipated press conferences in corporate history didn’t disappoint. Carlos Ghosn has lost none of his vim following his arrest, imprisonment and flight from Japan. Speaking in multiple languages, and often visibly enjoying the occasion, he forcefully argued his case for why he’s innocent of charges of undeclared income and misuse of corporate funds and why his arrest was really part of a conspiracy to stop him deepening the giant Renault-Nissan carmaking alliance. (Ghosn was previously boss of both the French and Japanese companies).His confidence in his own abilities as a corporate leader remains undimmed. He couldn’t resist bringing up how General Motors Motor Co. tried to hire him in 2009 for double what he earned at Nissan Motor Co.; that business schools have written case studies about how he revived the near bankrupt Nissan after arriving there in 1999; and how the Renault-Nissan alliance has fallen apart and the two companies’ share prices have hit the skids since he departed.To really stick the boot in, he even assailed Renault’s new leadership for missing out on a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV that Ghosn had sought prior to his defenestration. Fiat is now getting hitched to Peugeot SA instead.But a press conference — just the start of what’s sure to be a bitterly fought public relations battle — won’t suffice to clear his name. Indeed, the spectacle of him settling scores with Japanese prosecutors and his former employers, effectively trying himself before a baying press pack (and sporadically interrupted by applause from his acolytes) was unedifying.Ghosn’s treatment by Japan was undeniably shabby. Weeks of solitary confinement, being interrogated for hours on end without a lawyer present, and being barred from seeing his wife, was deplorable. Japan’s 99%-plus conviction rate is questionable, to put it mildly. Other Nissan executives were subsequently revealed to have received excess income, but only Ghosn and his American colleague Greg Kelly were arrested.Even so, Ghosn is now a fugitive from Japanese justice and it isn’t the only country to accuse him of wrongdoing. Renault also published concerns about financial relationships with third parties and various corporate expenses, including an infamous Marie Antoinette-themed party at Versailles. Ghosn settled charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about his failure to declare $140 million of post-retirement income and benefits. Ghosn didn’t admit wrongdoing but he paid a $1 million fine and is banned from serving as a director in America for a decade.Ghosn says he doesn’t think he’s above the law and insists he’s willing to stand trial anywhere provided he receives a fair trial. Of course, a just hearing is essential but it shouldn’t be up to Ghosn to determine the forum or the manner in which these claims are examined. (Ghosn dodged a question about whether he would go to France). It’s now going to be very difficult to arrange a trial anywhere. It will depend on the cooperation of Japan, which would naturally have reservations about assisting a wanted fugitive or undermining its own legal system.Ghosn is vexed that he’s been portrayed in Tokyo as a “cold, greedy, dictator.” He sees himself as a victim and is determined to restore his reputation. But his flight from Japan, which relied on expensive hired help and private jets, showed how he operates by different rules to most people. He seemed to think that walking the streets of Tokyo during his release on bail without a bodyguard was in some way unusual. In one particularly ill-advised and vain comment he compared his failure to foresee his arrest to the U.S. not anticipating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Even now, he’s living in a house paid for by Nissan.In fairness, at least Ghosn didn’t use the press conference to provide dramatic details about his escape from justice (perhaps he’s keeping them for the Netflix movie). Because, however exciting, that’s really not the story here. Ultimately Ghosn still has questions to answer and holding court in front of the world’s media doesn’t cut it.One way or another, justice must still be served.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Carlos Ghosn's Drama Is Much Better Than Netflix

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The shock arrest and defenestration in 2018 of Carlos Ghosn, a jet-setting polyglot who bestrode the car industry for decades as head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, always had a cinematic quality to it: There was his detention in Japan shortly after disembarking from a private aicraft; the allegations (strenuously denied by Ghosn) of undeclared income and misappropriated funds; the grim conditions in which he was held and monitored by Japanese prosecutors; and the speculation that his downfall was really a ploy to prevent him bringing about a deeper union between Nissan and Renault that Tokyo didn’t want.But even Netflix, which Ghosn has reportedly become fond of watching since his release on bail, wouldn’t have scripted a denouement as far-fetched as this. On Tuesday, the former boss of both Nissan Motor Co. and France’s Renault SA confirmed that he had fled Japan and was now in Lebanon — from where his grandparents hailed, and from where he’s unlikely to be extradited.How he managed to slip from the grip of the Japanese justice system is a mystery. Prosecutors there kept him under close surveillance and his local lawyers are still in possession of his various passports (he has French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship). With Ghosn’s trial set to overshadow the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, perhaps Japan simply wanted the embarrassment gone. Either that, or the country’s famously severe legal system has just suffered a most shocking reversal.Left marooned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s decision to merge with Peugeot SA and battling falling sales and profitability, Renault and Nissan were already in crisis. Now the maligned architect of their alliance is free to settle scores with both companies. It was Nissan that immediately dismissed Ghosn from the chairman’s role after his arrest and an internal inquiry into his activities; he later resigned as chief executive officer and chairman of Renault, which subsequently outlined its own concerns about his expenses. Instead of hiding out in Lebanon, he should think seriously about returning to France to put the record straight if his prime fear really was a rigged Japanese legal system.An uncomfortably high number of criminal cases brought in Japan end in conviction and there’s plenty about Ghosn’s pre-trial treatment that warranted criticism: His solitary confinement, interrogation without a lawyer present and a ban on seeing his wife all cast a poor light on Japanese justice.Hence Ghosn’s claims on Tuesday that he isn’t fleeing from justice but rather from “injustice.” In Lebanon he’s sure to be welcomed as a returning hero (billboards there declared “We are all Carlos Ghosn” in the wake of his arrest) but it’s doubtful that Renault and France would respond similarly.Since Ghosn’s arrest a picture has emerged of a brilliant but autocratic leader who felt he was under-appreciated, even with a $17 million pay packet and Renault-Nissan footing the bill for various foreign homes. A Marie Antoinette-themed party thrown at Versailles for his wife (with Renault picking up the tab) was symptomatic of a corporate leader who made light of corporate governance norms. In September he settled charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that he and Nissan had failed to disclose more than $140 million in compensation and benefits due to be paid to him in retirement. Ghosn neither admitted nor denied the charges but was fined $1 million and barred from serving as a director for 10 years.Indeed, Ghosn’s very escape underscores that he still operates by different rules to the average person.This all presents a very unwelcome problem to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who’s facing a backlash at home over controversial pension reforms. Macron’s weak spot is a privileged banker background that critics say makes him too friendly toward the rich. That’s why the Ghosn affair is so sensitive politically. France had already distanced itself from Ghosn and is likely to maintain that position; a junior economy minister reiterated on Tuesday that he’s not above the law.Prior to Ghosn’s escape, his wife Carole told Bloomberg that the fallen auto boss should face trial in France because he wouldn’t be given a fair hearing in Japan — several French lawmakers said they supported his repatriation. Once he’s rested, Ghosn should do the honorable thing and hop on a jet to Paris.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dongfeng and PSA extend joint venture despite stake sale to smooth mega-merger
    Reuters

    Dongfeng and PSA extend joint venture despite stake sale to smooth mega-merger

    BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) - China's Dongfeng Motor Group and Peugeot maker PSA are extending their business cooperation, despite the Chinese company reducing its stake in PSA to help smooth the French carmaker's merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Dongfeng said on Thursday it had agreed with PSA to extend the duration of their joint venture Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (DPCA).

  • Factbox: Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot tie-up - how does it work?
    Reuters

    Factbox: Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot tie-up - how does it work?

    Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA are pushing ahead with a planned merger worth about $50 billion aimed at creating the world's No. 4 carmaker. ** Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA aim to complete the deal in 12-15 months after signing a binding agreement on Wednesday. ** PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares would be the group's CEO with an initial five-year term.

  • Fiat-Peugeot Is a Dramatic Response to Combustion Engine's Death
    Bloomberg

    Fiat-Peugeot Is a Dramatic Response to Combustion Engine's Death

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The merger of Peugeot SA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is the largest transaction involving two carmakers since the takeover of Chrysler by Daimler AG some two decades ago.It’s the most dramatic response yet by the industry to the demise of the combustion engine and the massive expense of investing in electric vehicles. So why aren’t investors more excited? Peugeot shares have fallen about 10% since news of the talks with Fiat first leaked at the end of October. Fiat’s have gained about 16%.Before the deal emerged, Peugeot was valued more highly than Fiat but that has reversed. Peugeot investors think Fiat is getting a better deal and they don’t seem to believe the merger will create much value.And, in fairness, the history of automotive mergers isn’t a happy one: Daimler and Chrysler’s failed marriage is a textbook example of the culture clashes that supposed “mergers of equals” can spawn. Yet Peugeot and Fiat seem much closer philosophically — both sets of managers are firmly committed to creating value for shareholders, something you can’t always says of large manufacturers — and they have ample reason to try to make this tie-up work.The memorandum of understanding unveiled on Wednesday at least attempts to address Peugeot investors’ frustration with the initial deal terms. Fiat will still pay its shareholders — including the billionaire Agnelli family — an extremely generous 5.5 billion euro ($6.1 billion) special dividend before the deal closes, even though its balance sheet is comparatively weak and it’s exposed to far greater legal risks (involving diesel, tax and alleged trade union malfeasance). Peugeot shareholders will get a distribution worth around 3.2 billion euros.To try to balance things out a little, Fiat plans to keep its holdings in robot-maker Comau until after the deal closes, meaning an estimated 250 million euro proceeds from a sale will be shared equally by both sets of shareholders.Even so, the French side is being very generous financially in exchange for gaining control of the boardroom. Peugeot boss Carlos Tavares will have the casting vote. Is it worth it?Tavares has shown it’s possible to make money in Europe, where Peugeot sells 80% of its vehicles. But the continent is probably going to be a brutal market for the next few years. Carmakers there may be obliged to offer big discounts to persuade customers to purchase electric vehicles and thus help the automakers avoid regulatory fines. Peugeot’s impressive margins — it achieved an 8.7% automotive operating margin in the first half of 2019 — might not last forever.By contrast, Fiat’s North American truck and SUV business accounts for about two-thirds of its revenue and shouldn’t be as vulnerable to regulatory upheaval. President Donald Trump isn’t a fan of stringent fuel economy rules.The two parties are ruling out plant closures but still expect to generate 3.7 billion euros in yearly cost-savings. Taxed, capitalized and adjusted for the cost and time the savings will take to achieve, these are worth around 4 billion euros to each side.Tavares’s record of turning round businesses is certainly impressive. He transformed Peugeot and then repeated the trick with the Opel/Vauxhall unit acquired from General Motors Co. Fiat won’t offer as many quick wins: The Italian carmaker has already slashed costs and optimized its working capital. But savings from common vehicle platforms and purchasing could be substantial.It’s probably unrealistic to expect shareholders to price in all the promised benefits now. Tavares will have to show them that not all marriages are doomed to fail.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot agree $50bn merger deal
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot agree $50bn merger deal

    The boards of both companies said Wednesday they have agreed a deal to merger, creating the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world.

  • Boards of Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot owner PSA, sign off on merger: sources
    Reuters

    Boards of Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot owner PSA, sign off on merger: sources

    The boards of French carmaker PSA , the owner of Peugeot, and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) in separate meetings on Tuesday approved a binding agreement for a $50 billion merger, sources said. A source close to FCA had said earlier the two companies could formally announce the agreement early on Wednesday, followed by a conference call to explain further details later in the day. China's Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd <0489.HK>, which now has a 12.2% equity stake in PSA, will have a reduced stake of around 4.5% in the merged group, two sources said, in a move that could help make regulatory approval easier.

  • Boards of Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot owner PSA, sign off on merger - sources
    Reuters

    Boards of Fiat Chrysler, Peugeot owner PSA, sign off on merger - sources

    The boards of French carmaker PSA , the owner of Peugeot, and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) in separate meetings on Tuesday approved a binding agreement for a $50 billion merger, sources said. A source close to FCA had said earlier the two companies could formally announce the agreement early on Wednesday, followed by a conference call to explain further details later in the day. China's Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd , which now has a 12.2% equity stake in PSA, will have a reduced stake of around 4.5% in the merged group, two sources said, in a move that could help make regulatory approval easier.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-On the radar: UK elections, trade war deadline and M&A moves

    Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. European stock markets are expected to open just slightly in positive territory as the week’s two main news items, UK election and the Dec.15 tariff deadline enter their end game.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-Aston Martin not actively pursuing new investors as opens SUV plant

    Aston Martin, which was reported this week to be the target of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, said it was not actively pursuing new investors on Friday as it opened a new factory to build its first sport utility vehicle. As some in the global car industry turn to partnerships, alliances or mergers to handle the challenge of electrification, new technology and tighter margins, Autocar magazine reported on Thursday that Stroll, the owner of Formula One team Racing Point, is preparing to buy a major stake in Aston. The British automaker's new factory in south Wales holds the key to ending a poor performance this year from Aston, whose shares have tumbled 75% this year on weaker-than-expected sales.

  • At €21.24, Is Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG) Worth Looking At Closely?
    Simply Wall St.

    At €21.24, Is Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG) Worth Looking At Closely?

    Let's talk about the popular Peugeot S.A. (EPA:UG). The company's shares saw significant share price movement during...

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UK car body warns output will slump if Brexit leads to tariffs with EU

    British annual car production will drop by a third to 1 million by 2024 if Brexit leads to tariffs with the European Union, a trade body warned on Tuesday, saying output would be lost to other countries. Britons head to the polls in just over two weeks to elect a new government with Prime Minister Boris Johnson promising to pass his Brexit deal as soon as possible, whilst the opposition Labour Party would renegotiate and call a referendum in 2020. The sector, Britain's biggest exporter of goods, warned on Tuesday that World Trade Organisation tariffs on components imported into Britain and exported vehicles would add more than 3.2 billion pounds ($4 billion) a year to manufacturing costs in the worst case scenario.

  • Bloomberg

    General Motors Declares Corporate War on Chrysler

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The racketeering lawsuit brought by General Motors Co. against cross-town rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is a legal bombshell for the U.S. car industry.GM’s broadside lays out in forensic detail how Fiat allegedly conspired over many years to funnel payments to United Auto Workers’ officials, corrupt the collective bargaining process on wages and thus secure a competitive advantage. In essence, it’s trying to rewrite the American auto industry’s past decade of history, which saw both GM and Chrysler bounce back dramatically from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.In GM’s telling, the merger of Italy’s Fiat with Michigan’s Chrysler and their subsequent renaissance under the leadership of Sergio Marchionne was built on corruption. It may have a hard time proving parts of its case, particularly its assertion that the goal of the alleged conspiracy was to weaken GM and force it into a merger with Fiat.The Italian company says the lawsuit is groundless, implying that any bribe-paying would have been a case of a few bad apples. This is an awkward defense, though: Federal prosecutors have accused Fiat managers of trying to keep union officials “fat, dumb and happy” and three of the company’s executives have pleaded guilty to various charges.Regardless of whether GM succeeds in extracting billions of dollars compensation from its rival, the lawsuit seems calculated to punish Fiat and destabilize its recovery. Fiat’s proposed merger with France’s Peugeot SA, a prospective labor deal with the UAW and the reputation of the deceased Marchionne are in the balance. Relations between the two carmakers and with America’s trade unions will never be the same again.GM’s lawsuit contains plenty of salacious claims, but this goes far beyond the accusations of fancy meals, trips and gifts to UAW officials to secure lower and more flexible labor costs. In GM’s allegations, the original sin goes all the way back to 2009 when the Italian company “managed to win the support of the U.S. government in obtaining operational control, for no cash, over an iconic U.S. auto company”.And GM leaves little doubt about where the buck stops for the alleged orgy of trade union bribery that ensued: former Fiat boss Marchionne. This is shocking because for many investors Marchionne was a hero who created huge value. Doubtless this grated with GM, whose own remarkable post-crisis recovery allowed it to fend off Fiat’s merger overtures.There are other things that cast a cloud over the Marchionne era. Last year the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that during his tenure Fiat fraudulently misled investors about how many new vehicles it and its dealers sold each month. Furthermore, the U.S. brought criminal charges against Fiat this year related to alleged diesel emissions cheating between 2011 and 2017. The automaker agreed to pay $800 million in January to settle diesel lawsuits brought by states, car owners and the U.S. Department of Justice, which labelled it a “bad actor.”While Marchionne isn’t alive to defend himself, the mantle of savior of the auto industry has passed to Peugeot’s boss Carlos Tavares. He acquired GM’s Opel/Vauxhall European subsidiary in 2017 and turned it around in record time, an embarrassment for GM which achieved nothing but losses there. The GM lawsuit will be a big test for him, and may encourage him to rethink the terms of the Peugeot-Fiat merger, which clearly favor the Italian side.GM’s move also puts the screws on the UAW to bargain particularly hard with Fiat over a new labor deal. If the union fails to emerge with good terms from those talks, it will look beholden to a carmaker from whom former officials allegedly accepted bribes.These scorched-earth tactics could yet backfire for GM. The technological and regulatory upheaval that’s upended the auto industry probably needs cooperation, not feuds. GM has already secured a new labor deal with the UAW, but re-airing the union’s dirty linen won’t help its own employee relations, which have been scarred by 40 days of strikes this year.GM says the timing is coincidental but nothing about this lawsuit feels haphazard. It’s a precision-guided declaration of corporate war.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at cbryant32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    LIVE MARKETS-On the radar: Thyssenkrup, LVMH and PSA/FCA

    Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. The Energy sector is also expected to be under pressure with oil prices retreating due to the trade tensions. While we wait to see if there will be any surprise in the list of companies Labour will seek to nationalise should it win the Dec 12 election, Royal Mail and Severn Trent, already targeted, both published trading updates.

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