The Latest: FCA says French politics caused merger pullout

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FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, this is the Fiat logo is mounted on a 2019 500 L on display at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh. French carmaker Renault looks set to give its approval to Fiat Chrysler’s merger offer. The company’s board is meeting Tuesday June 4, 2019 afternoon at its headquarters outside Paris to decide on a deal that could reshape the global auto industry. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the potential merger of carmakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler (all times local):

1:20 a.m.

Fiat Chrysler says political conditions in France caused it to withdraw its offer to merge with French automaker Renault.

The company says its board made the decision at a meeting Wednesday evening. An FCA statement says it has become clear that the political conditions don’t currently exist for the deal to proceed successfully.

FCA thanked Renault and its alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi for their constructive work on the proposal.

The company says it will deliver on its commitments with a strategy to remain independent.

Fiat Chrysler had proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.

The combined company would have produced some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.

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1 a.m.

Fiat Chrysler says it has withdrawn an offer to merge with French automaker Renault.

The company says in a statement Wednesday evening that it will make more information available later.

The move comes just after Renault said its board postponed voting on the merger at the request of the French government.

Earlier Wednesday a person briefed on the matter said FCA had reached a tentative deal with France over merger terms. The person didn’t want to be identified because the Renault board was meeting at the time.

Fiat Chrysler had proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.

The combined company would have produced some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.

____

11 p.m.

A person briefed on the matter says the French government and Fiat Chrysler have reached a tentative deal on terms for the carmaker’s potential merger with France’s Renault.

The person didn’t want to be identified because Renault’s board was still meeting late Wednesday to discuss the proposal.

The person says the deal between Fiat Chrysler and the government is a good sign but no guarantee the merger will be approved.

The French government owns 15% of Renault and had been seeking job and investment assurances and a seat on the merged entity’s board.

The government wouldn’t comment Wednesday.

Fiat Chrysler has proposed merging with Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth almost $40 billion.

The combined company would produce some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.

-Angela Charlton in Paris

___

2:55 p.m.

France’s finance minister says Renault and Fiat Chrysler shouldn’t rush into a merger.

Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday on BFM television that the government is keeping up pressure on both carmakers to accept French government conditions for the proposed tie-up. The French state is Renault’s biggest single shareholder, with a 15% stake.

Le Maire said the government wants a seat on the merged company’s board and a joint headquarters in France. “Let’s take the time to do things well,” he said. “We want this merger, but we don’t want it under just any conditions.”

Renault’s board is meeting late Wednesday to discuss Fiat Chrysler’s merger offer. It would create the world’s No. 3 auto company and reshape the industry as carmakers race to make electric and autonomous vehicles for the masses.

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