GM to modify Fiat purchase deal?

General Motors is reported to be considering a proposal to Fiat to cancel its option to buy 80% of Fiat Auto in return for financial assistance for the company now. According to reports in the Italian press this would see GM increase its shareholding in Fiat Auto to 40%. Rumors have suggested that GM is willing to pay $1bn to get out of the option. Fiat Auto is expected to soon announce a loss for 2002 of $2bn and this has led to a number of plans to break up the company. Although not directly linked to Ferrari, the fate of Fiat Auto is important for the future of the team because of the possible implications of any restructuring which might shift Ferrari from the protection of the Agnelli Family, which has long accepted and supported Ferrari's expensive racing as being part of the business. New investors are likely to be less patient, particularly when Ferrari ceases to win, which is at some point inevitable.

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