DETROIT — Chrysler’s plan for a public stock offering would ordinarily be cause to celebrate the automaker’s comeback from its government bailout and bankruptcy in 2009. But the company’s filing for the offering, which came late on Monday, is hardly a moment of triumph.
Chrysler is taking the step only under pressure from its second-largest shareholder, a trust set up to provide medical coverage for 115,000 retired auto workers and family members.
And while the offering would generate needed cash for the trust, it would also thwart plans by Fiat, Chrysler’s Italian parent, to acquire full ownership of the American automaker.
The Detroit automakers have large financial responsibilities to their retirees.
On Monday, General Motors said it would raise money in the bond market to buy preferred stock in the company owned by its retiree health care trust at a cost of $3.2 billion.
Chrysler’s offering arises from an unusual conflict of interests, made possible by the remarkable turnaround at Chrysler since it was shepherded through bankruptcy four years ago by the federal government.