April 25, 2009 / 5:38 PM / 9 years ago

Chrysler Canada may not need bankruptcy protection

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) - The Canadian unit of Chrysler may not need to seek bankruptcy protection, even if the company does so in the United States, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Saturday.

Flaherty said the automaker’s cost-cutting agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union, announced late Friday, represented a “fundamental change” in the company’s efforts to qualify for emergency government loans. The company must also clinch a partnership with Fiat SpA FIA.MI.

“The legal situation may be different in Canada than in the United States. It is possible that bankruptcy protection is sought in the United States but not in Canada because of the differing legal regimes,” Flaherty told reporters on a conference call following G7, G20 and IMF meetings in Washington.

“The important point is that the company will go through a transformation, that they have been able to reach an agreement with the CAW ... the agreement represents a fundamental change,” he said.

The Canadian government will continue to support Chrysler during its transformation, he said. (Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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