Chrysler Group LLC is working to refinance what its chief executive characterized as "shyster loans" that the Obama administration extended as part of a bailout to keep the automaker from collapse in 2009.
"I want to pay back the shyster loans," Sergio Marchionne said at an industry conference, using a derogatory term for an unethical lawyer or politician. "Pay back the loans, get those out and then take (the company) public."
Marchionne, who is also CEO of Italy's Fiat SpA (FIA.MI), has said repeatedly that the high interest rates on loans Chrysler owes the U.S. and Canadian governments have been an obstacle in the automaker's return
A Chrysler spokesman declined to comment on Marchionne's use of the term "shyster".
Marchionne said Chrysler was in the final stages of discussions with the Department of Energy on its application for up to $3.5 billion loans. A deal in principle to access the new loans was still possible by March, he said.
The bailout loans carry a premium. Chrysler pays 7.2 percent on one tranche of its Treasury loan worth more than $2 billion and 10.55 percent on another $3.5 billion.
Click on he following for more details of this Reuters story: UPDATE 3-Chrysler must shed 'shyster' bailout loans -CEO | Reuters