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Fiat seeks to gain another stake in Chrysler from VEBA

Italian automaker Fiat, already Chrysler's majority owner, has announced plans to acquire another stake in the Detroit car company.

Fiat currently owns 58.57 percent of Chrysler.  The rest is held by VEBA - the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association.  The VEBA was given stock in Chrysler in lieu of cash payments to cover union retiree health care costs, which were shifted to the UAW in 2007.

Fiat says it intends to exercise an option for 3.3% of VEBA's stock, for $198 million.

The company previously stated an intent to exercise an option for 3.3% of the stock last year, but the VEBA disputed Fiat's valuation of the stock, and the dispute landed in court.  The case hasn't been settled yet.

If Fiat is successful in acquiring both options, it will own 65.17% of Chrysler.