The move, designed to complete a flotation that was first announced more than a year ago, means that Fiat is no longer officially in direct control of the car manufacturer that it purchased back in 1969. The powerful Agnelli family that founded Fiat is still Ferrari’s largest shareholder, though, with 24% of stock. Piero Ferrari, the son of the sports car brand’s founder Enzo, holds 10%.
However, because longer-term Ferrari investors get extra influence in corporate issues, in effect the Agnellis and Piero Ferrari control just under 49% of voting rights. In December the two parties signed an agreement designed to prevent any hostile takeovers by agreeing to offer each other first refusal on any stock they want to sell.
Ferrari shares dropped by around 5% during initial trading on the Italian stock exchange in Milan. They have failed to stay at the price set during their Initial Public Offering (IPO) in New York, too, falling around four dollars since they were issued at $52 in October.
Around 10% of Ferrari was offered in that initial sale. The company's chairman Sergio Marchionne started the day’s trading on Wall Street by ringing the bell at the NYSE, and confirmed that the company would use RACE as its ticker symbol for its listing on the exchange.
Sergio Marchionne, boss of FCA and more recently Ferrari, said recently: "Following our acquisition of the minority interest in Chrysler earlier this year, the transformation of Fiat and Chrysler into FCA was completed earlier this month with our debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
"As we move forward to secure the 2014-2018 Business Plan and work toward maximising the value of our businesses to our shareholders, it is proper that we pursue separate paths for FCA and Ferrari."
Last year Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari since 1991, resigned from his position and was replaced by Marchionne. At the time, he said: "Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street.
"This will open up a new and different phase which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group."
There were rumours, however, that Montezemolo and Marchionne had clashed over the future of Ferrari.