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Nardelli: Chrysler Will Be Sold To Fiat On Friday

Chrysler chairman and chief execute Robert Nardelli said in testimony in bankruptcy court this afternoon that he expects Chrysler's proposed sale to Italian car maker Fiat to close on Friday, The Post's Tomoeh Murakami Tse reports from New York.

Nardelli has been testifying in U.S. bankruptcy court since 2:15 p.m. today, saying that the sale to Fiat is the best and only option available to the automaker besides liquidation. This is the second day of the highly-anticipated hearing on a motion by Chrysler to sell itself to an entity jointly owned by Fiat, the United Auto Workers and the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Tom Lauria, an attorney representing Indiana pension and construction funds that are objecting to the sale, asked Nardelli when he expected the transaction to close.

"Tomorrow," he replied.

"You expect the transaction to close tomorrow?" Lauria said.

"That's the plan," Nardelli said, to courtroom laughter.

If the transaction really does close tomorrow -- pending approval by bankruptcy judge Arthur Gonzalez -- the government-orchestrated restructuring of Chrysler would have been completed in 29 days.

Lauria asked Nardelli if the company has all the regulatory approvals necessary to close the deal.

"That's well on its way. Hopefully we'll get it done by tomorrow," Nardelli said.

Lauria then asked Nardelli if he had received any indication as to when the regulatory approvals may come.

Nardelli replied, "Yes. From counsel."

At that point, a lawyer for Chrysler objected to the line of questioning.

The Chrysler lawyer also told Nardelli, "Please don't divulge conversations you've had with counsel related to the transaction."

"Okay," Nardelli said. "Sorry."

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 28, 2009; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fiat, Robert Nardelli, UAW, chrysler  
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