April 23, 2009 / 10:50 AM / 9 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Fiat still in talks on Chrysler, posts Q1 loss

(Refiles to remove superfluous word ‘either’ from first paragraph)

* Q1 group trading loss $62.5 million

* Aims for Chrysler deal by April 30 deadline

(Adds details, share price, background)

MILAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Italian industrial group Fiat SpA FIA.MI said on Thursday it was still in talks to form a partnership with ailing U.S. carmaker Chrysler [CBS.UL], adding that it aimed to reach a deal by an April 30 deadline.

“Final terms for this transaction continues to be negotiated with the U.S. Treasury and other relevant stakeholders,” it said in a statement in which it also announced a first-quarter trading loss of 48 million euros.

“If negotiations are concluded successfully, final terms will be set on or before April 30, 2009,” it said.

Fiat made no mention of General Motors Corp’s (GM.N) Opel unit. A growing number of news reports have spoken of Fiat’s possible interest in the unit.

The website of German news magazine Spiegel said Fiat would sign a letter of intent next Tuesday to buy a majority stake in Opel. Fiat and Opel declined to comment.

Fiat shares were up 0.6 percent at 7.52 euros at 1031 GMT. The DJ Stoxx auto index .SXAP was down 0.71 percent.

Fiat is working hard to get the support of Chrysler’s reluctant creditors and unions to close the deal.

If it fails to clinch a deal by the deadline, the U.S. government is threatening to let Chrysler go bankrupt.

Reporting by Gilles Castonguay; editing by John Stonestreet $1=.7678 Euro

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