Fiat's happy - Did somebody complain? (Fiat's failed international equity offering)
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Fiat's happy - Did somebody complain? (Fiat's failed international equity offering)

Fiat got the Libyans out; Deutsche Bank got the d what did the underwriters get? By Peter Lee

"It's not our problem," said the Fiat spokesman. "IFI sold the shares to the Deutsche and Mediobanca consortium. What happened then was their business and beyond our control. Did anything that dramatic happen?"

What happened was dramatic enough to capture the attention of the world's leading financiers, gathered in Washington for the IMF meeting. In London they were calling it "the great Fiatsco". In New York the joke was "What does Fiat stand for? Fix it again Tony." It was dramatic enough, too, for some hard-headed individuals to claim that the nascent Euro-equity market had been seriously, if not irreparably, damaged by a single major disaster.

What lessons can be learned from the Fiat I offering? Firstly, that while professional traders might absorb a huge debt offering quickly, no-one can put $2 billion of equity on the market and expect it to disappear into investors' accounts of its own accord.

Secondly, if a lead manager decides to assemble a large syndicate - and this may be unwise - he had better ensure a coordinated selling strategy.

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