China’s Great Wall Motors says the idea’s interested in buying Fiat Chrysler

Chrysler unveils minivan for Millennials

A Chinese automaker says the idea’s interested in buying Fiat Chrysler.

Great Wall Motors said Monday in which the idea was exploring a bid for the parent company of Jeep, Maserati, Dodge, Ram along with Alfa Romeo.

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“We develop the willingness to buy FCA,” a company spokesperson said, adding in which Italian-American group fits its “needs.”

A deal, however, does not appear to be imminent.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement on Monday in which the idea has “not been approached by Great Wall Motors.”

the idea was not clear whether Great Wall might target all of Fiat Chrysler, or seek to cleave off its coveted Jeep brand. A spokesperson said Monday in which details about whether the Chinese automaker might attempt to buy all or part of Fiat Chrysler might be decided at a “higher level.”

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) shares surged to their highest level in nearly two decades last week as investors speculated about a Chinese takeover of the automaker. The stock added another 3.3% in Milan on Monday, while Great Wall (GWBU) gained 1.6% in Hong Kong.

Jeep might be a major prize for a Chinese automaker.

Fiat Chrysler has been boosting sales of Jeep versions in China, producing them through a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group.

A Chinese takeover of Jeep could make a lot of sense because the idea might give the fresh owners an easy way of expanding quickly inside U.S., Morgan Stanley analysts wrote recently in a research note.

Plus, SUVs are a big deal in China along with “Jeep is actually synonymous with SUVs,” the analysts wrote.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month in which he might lay out his plans for the company in early 2018, hinting in which some brands or parts of the company could be spun out.

Related: Jeep launches its first production in India

The Morgan Stanley analysts said the automaker might be worth a lot more if the idea was broken up. They said the Jeep brand on its own is actually worth more than the current market value of the company, for example.

Fiat Chrysler has been here before: the idea split off Ferrari (RACE) into a separate company in late 2015. Ferrari’s market value has more than tripled since then.

— Alanna Petroff along with Nanlin Fang contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (London) First published August 21, 2017: 6:49 AM ET


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