We reported about a month ago that Samsung was in talks to acquire a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles called Magneti Marelli which specializes in developing and producing high-end automotive parts. Samsung is believed to be interested in Magneti Marelli’s capabilities in lighting, entertainment and telematics. If a deal does go through it’s reportedly going to be worth around $3 billion. Samsung has not really said anything about a potential deal but Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has dropped a hint which suggests he’s not personally opposed to Samsung acquiring Magneti Marelli.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Marchionne said that he views Samsung as a potential strategic partner even though multiple suitors have shown interest for the company’s automotive parts subsidiary. “We have a very good relationship with Samsung, both as a supplier and as a potential strategic partner,” Marchionne said, adding that he himself has a good relationship with Samsung given that he and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong both serve on the board of Exor SpA which happens to be the biggest shareholder in Fiat Chrysler.
Samsung’s apparent willingness to spend billions of dollars on an auto parts company ties in with its recent moves in developing technology for smart cars. It’s doing all sorts of things to further establish its footing in the automotive market, taking steps like collaborations with German car firms to creating tracks to test self-driving cars on. Samsung is still believed to be in advanced talks to acquire some or all of Magneti Marelli. Lee and Marchionne are expected to talk more about a potential deal when the former visits Europe for Exor’s next board session.