Shareholders in Peugeot owner PSA gave the green light on Monday to the French company’s merger with Fiat Chrysler (FCA), one of the last steps towards creating the world’s fourth largest automaker.
At a special shareholder meeting, the deal to form the new company called Stellantis was first backed by top investors with double voting rights, including the Peugeot family, China’s Dongfeng and the French state, via Bpifrance.
All other PSA shareholders backed the deal at a second meeting held online with a 99.85% approval rate among votes cast. FCA investors are due to give their verdict later on Monday.
“We are ready for this merger,” PSA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said, adding that the date for the closure of the deal would be announced shortly if all shareholder approvals were granted. He said the deal had now passed all regulatory tests.
The shareholding structure will be altered as part of the merger, and existing double voting rights – which are accrued over time and give investors more weight in decisions – will not be carried over.
Tavares, who will take the helm of the merged group, will have to revive the carmaker’s fortunes in China, rationalise a sprawling global empire and address massive overcapacity, as well as focus like rivals on creating cleaner cars.
Stellantis will have 14 brands, from FCA’s Fiat, Maserati and U.S.-focused Jeep, Dodge and Ram to PSA’s Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and DS. PSA has traditionally been more focused on Europe.