Fiat Chrysler is about to spin off Ferrari in a complicated arrangement understood only by Sergio Marchionne, two or three market analysts, and Mike Ballaban. The important thing is they're about to unload a ton of their debt in the deal.
As we saw in the five-year plan unveiled this summer, Fiat Chrysler has extremely ambitious plans moving forward that include new models, new platforms and new engines. To do that they need cash and they need to get rid of some of their soaring debt.
Reuters reports that the Ferrari spinoff will go a long way toward helping with that. The company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it expects to drop its industrial debt by about $894 million in the deal.
FCA had already said in a separate filing with U.S. market regulator SEC earlier this month that it would receive 2.25 billion euros from Ferrari before it spins off the luxury sportscar unit from the group next year.
The company added on Wednesday that this payment and the removal of Ferrari's own debt of 133 million euros from the parent group's accounts would be offset by the loss of Ferrari's cash and receivables worth 1.67 billion euros.
If you've been wondering whether spinning off Ferrari has hurt Marchionne's pride at all, the answer is probably no. Here's a quote from an interview earlier this year that addressed the company's debt:
When asked during an interview last month about Ferrari's role in the group's strategy, Marchionne said: "Do I think they are essential to the configuration of FCA forever? The answer is no."
Yeah, Ferrari. Get out there and make that dollar! Er, Euro.