Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and France’s PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, have signed a binding combination agreement, finalising a merger deal that was first announced at the end of October. The automakers said that they expect the transaction to be completed within 12 to 15 months, subject to shareholder approval and regulatory clearances.

The US$50 billion (RM207.8 billion) 50:50 tie-up will create the world’s fourth-largest automaker, which will have a combined sales volume of 8.7 million vehicles and a revenue of nearly €170 billion (RM783 billion).

The combined entity will be led by PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, who will be appointed as CEO on an initial mandate of five years, while FCA chairman John Elkann will assume the role of chairman.

The two automakers have a total of 14 brands between them, five from PSA and nine from FCA, including Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Jeep, but Tavares has previously said that none will be sacrificed in the new setup.

The merged group will have a combined workforce of around 400,000, and while both companies said that there would be no plant closures as a result of the deal, reports speculate that some redundancies are expected.