Three Indiana funds filed documents today with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that Fiats June 15 deadline for closing the sale of Chrysler assets cant be used as a basis for driving the timing of the high courts action.
In a filing supporting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgs order on Monday that delayed the sale, the three Indianapolis-based funds cited a report in which Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO, was quoted as saying the company would never walk away from the deal if it isnt completed by June 15.
We should just be patient and let the system work, Mr. Marchionne was quoted as saying.
The courts relied on the deadline and related arguments in moving this case forward at an unprecedented pace, according to the filing by the $7.8 billion Indianas State Teachers Retirement Fund, the $250 million State Police Pension Trust and the $2.5 billion Major Moves Construction Fund.
Fiat, in its own filing today, said the Indiana funds ignore what it called a crucial point that if the sale transaction approved by the bankruptcy court does not close by June 15 it will terminate under its express terms.
Given the importance of Chrysler to the economy at large, the public interest weighs heavily in favor of permitting the sale transaction to be completed, the Fiat filing said.
Elena Kagan, U.S. solicitor general, in a filing Monday arguing for denial of the stay of the deal, had argued that further delay would create a direct risk that the transaction would unravel because of the Fiat deadline.
Ms. Ginsburg did not say when a ruling on the appeal would be issued.
Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, on behalf of the three funds, challenged U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur J. Gonzalezs May 31 ruling permitting the sale of most of Chrysler to Fiat, a UAW VEBA and the U.S. and Canadian governments. Mr. Mourdock contends the ruling allowing the sale violated established legal practices in bankruptcy actions in terms of the priority of secured creditors and also objected to the use of TARP funds for the sale.
The teachers fund holds about $32.4 million in Chrysler secured debt, the construction fund holds $8.8 million and the state police fund, $1.3 million.