Federal bankruptcy judge approves sale of most of Chrysler's assets to Fiat
A federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of most of Chrysler LLC's assets to Italy's Fiat, moving the American automaker a step closer to its goal of a quick exit from court protection.

Judge Arthur Gonzalez said in his ruling late Sunday that a speedy sale -- the centerpiece of a restructuring plan backed by President Barack Obama's automotive task force -- was needed to keep the value of Chrysler from deteriorating and would provide a better return for the company's stakeholders than if it had chosen to liquidate.

"Any material delay would result in substantial costs in several areas, including the amounts required to restart the operations, loss of skilled workers, loss of suppliers and dealers who could be forced to go out of business in the interim, and the erosion of consumer confidence," Gonzalez wrote in his opinion.

"In addition, delay may vitiate several vital agreements negotiated amongst the debtors and various constituents."

As a result, the proposed sale must be approved in order to preserve the value of Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler's business and what is ultimately left for its stakeholders, Gonzalez said.

The ruling came ahead of fellow U.S.-automaker General Motors Corp.'s government-supported bankruptcy protection filing. The Detroit-based automaker filed for bankruptcy protection in New York's Southern District early Monday.
Posted by: Fred 2009-06-02